When a 4-year college doesn’t make sense March 10, 2016

Ian Welham asks: When is a 4-year college not the best choice?



Many parents believe that good jobs with good salaries require a 4-year degree.

That may be true in some fields, but certainly not all.

In fact, community and/or technical colleges provide a better return on investment vs. 4-year colleges in a number of careers, including:

  • Engineering technology
  • Radiation Technology & Medical Imaging
  • Plumbing and Heating
  • Dental Hygiene

Four-year colleges can cost three to 10 times more than community colleges. Yet a study of the earnings of 2-year degree holders vs. 4-year degree holders in these fields reveals little salary differential.

Associate degrees in fields such as health care, manufacturing, and information technology offer median incomes up to $55,000 and can make upwards of $75,000 – $100,000.

The Department of Labor predicts a growth rate of 20% and higher for many of these careers, making them even more attractive. Food for thought — especially when you consider that over half of college and university graduates end up in jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree.

In other news, George Washington University has joined the growing list of colleges and universities that no longer require applicants to take the SAT test. Last time I looked, there are over 150 schools where SAT scores are either not required or optional.

I also saw last week where President Obama’s plan to rank U.S. colleges and universities died a quiet death. The idea was to rate colleges according to affordability, student success, and other factors.

Great idea. But in execution, the 3 proposed ratings — high-performing, low-performing and those in the middle — were pretty much worthless because the majority of colleges would have scored in the middle category. If everyone is in the same category, what’s being revealed? Very little.

Also, according to The Wall Street Journal, college administrators fought hard against the rankings, “arguing that the value of an institution’s education is far too subjective to be captured in a single metric.”

The beat goes on…



This post was written by admin on March 10, 2016
Posted Under: Uncategorized

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