The rise in college costs over the last few decades have been significant. Tuition here in Washington used to be in the low $200 range in the 1970’s, now in tens of thousands of dollars. Many theories exist out there regarding the cause of all that – but it looks from this animated chart that it is simply supply and demand.
For the full animated gif see http://imgur.com/5b8cOXJ
I wasn’t aware how many more people have 4 year college degrees now than in 1970. But why the great increase in demand? d av Perhaps its increased globalization of the workforce, perhaps the increase in technology, or something else.
I assumed the ease of getting student loans factored into this, but if you figure that there was much less demand in the middle of the 20th century, when the cost was low, that doesn’t seem to make economic sense. Unless the rise of student loan money has led to schools lowering their admissions requirements, to soak up all that student loan money.
Many articles have been written about the impact of this debt on the economy of the future impact of this debt on the economy, one has to wonder if loading all these young adults with a huge debt load is the best use of our economic capital. And is there a huge economic benefit to cranking out these 4 year degrees? Maybe so. It will be interesting to see the long term impact of this demographic shift.