Rising cost of college education.

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They give the higher education system a D letter grade.

Most parents consider degrees so important they’ll tighten their belts to help their kids get them. But the academics who teach those kids don’t think they need one.

Most professors (87 percent) agree: the cost of tuition is too high, according to research from Top Hat, a company that provides online teaching programs. And half feel college isn’t necessary to succeed in life — up from just 33 percent who felt that way last year.

What’s adding to the rising cost of college education?

Nine out of ten professors also agreed textbooks cost too much money, Top Hat’s survey showed.

And a lot of them think those books don’t do the job. More than half (57 percent) said they assign other materials to make up for “problems with the main course textbook, such as datedness and lack of attention to certain topics.”

It’s not just books that cost. Last year, consumers spent a record $47 billion on back-to-college shopping, according to research from consulting firm Deloitte.

And in true professor style, most think the students aren’t doing enough to get enough out of their classes…

  • Most professors (71 percent) don’t believe most students come ready to class
  • And more than half (51 percent) think students aren’t paying attention
  • Which 60 percent of them say signals that “apathy among students has increased in the past decade.”

Family’s willing to pay the rising cost of college education…

Student loan provider Sallie Mae found families of diverse income brackets “are equally willing to stretch financially for the opportunity of college.”

It broke down like this:

  • 85 percent of low-income families agreed
  • Matched by 83 percent of middle-income families
  • And 84 percent of high-income families

What’s their reasoning?

  • Nine in 10 agree college is an investment in the student
  • A majority (83 percent) saying students with degrees “will earn more money.”
  • And 77 percent say degrees are “more important now” than they used to be.

A recent study from McGraw Hill Education, however, shows only four in 10 college students feel well-prepared for their future careers. As reported, “60 percent of college graduates think their student loan repayments will cause them to work multiple jobs.”

Despite those stark results, parents actually think they’re getting more than their money’s worth…

  • 10 percent consider college education “somewhat of a bargain
  • And 20 percent think it’s “an excellent value, worth every penny.”

…And family’s willing to shelter their student children

Families with low credit scores who help students with college expenses are three times more likely to run out of money every month — but still, offer a hand.

Investment company Elevate surveyed Americans about how they handle the growing burden of college expenses—a significant cost considering national student debt alone clocks in at $1.4 trillion

  • 72 percent of non-prime parents (with credit scores less than 700) believe college will mean better lives for their children
  • Even though non-prime students are “more likely” to live at home
  • And most of those students (90 percent) will rely on financial aid

Without aid, the study found, non-prime students are “significantly less likely” to reach junior and senior year.

“We often hear a lot about the rising student loan problem,” said Jonathan Walker, the Elevate executive director running the study, who added non-prime kids have a much tougher decision to make when considering going to college:

  • They’ve already felt the stress of financial struggle
  • And aid is “far more crucial” for them

That hard decision could be why enrollment is down around the country. Current enrollment around the US is down 275,000 from last year, according to education research center National Student Clearinghouse (NSC).

As reported, “college graduates earn double the income of workers with only a high school diploma. On the other side of the coin, the investment in earning a college education is tough to pay without borrowing. And that is on the on the rise too.”

Americans say the rising cost of college education isn’t worth it

Most Americans say apprenticeships are better than colleges at helping people get jobs.

An American Staffing Association survey polled 2,000 Americans about job readiness and found people kicking college pretty hard…

  • 68 percent of people said “learning a specific trade is better for finding a job than a bachelor’s degree.”
  • And nearly the same amount (69 percent) said: “college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be.”

A majority of Americans (87 percent) thinks it’s smart to consider both college and apprenticeship as options.

“Apprenticeships or earn and learn programs offer great value to job seekers because they get paid while learning a new vocation,” says ASA’s CEO Richard Wahlquist, adding they’re “available across a wide variety of occupations and industries.”

What’s for sure is that there definitely are jobs out there for people without college degrees, and those jobs pay.

Most importantly, some jobs are in such high demand that companies are having a hard time hiring fast enough. To learn more about those, check out The Top 10 Jobs in 2018 That Don’t Require a College Degree.

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Meet the Author

Gideon Grudo

Gideon Grudo

Writer for

Grudo is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. Previously he was the digital editor of Air Force Magazine and the managing editor of South Florida Gay News.

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