Knowing the problem comes before knowing the answer


Many families make mistakes when they miss the biggest college problem.

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Knowing the problem comes before knowing the answer


Many families make mistakes when they miss the biggest college problem.

It’s Not the Rising Price of College. It’s not student loan debt.

Inflating college costs and and excessive student loan debt are certainly problematic in today’s world but these issues are only symptomatic of a root cause: college completion. Most students never even finish college. Read more.

In other words, about 6 out of 10 students who started at those schools will not have a degree after six years. Many will be saddled with student debt without the earning potential to pay it off...
— Elisa Nadworny - NPR March 13, 2019

Figure 3. Six-Year Outcomes for All students, students who started at four-year institutions, and students who started at two-year institutions

Source: National Student Clearinghouse
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Not convinced? Here is the research. You can download the full report here.

Visit the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.


ANOTHER PERsPECTIVE: There is a college completion crisis.

This is the blindspot that many families never consider. So many students with delayed or incomplete college degrees spend more and take on more student loans that can never be repaid. Complete College America is a non-profit organization at the forefront of identifying and promoting awareness around the issue.


National

5% of students complete their associates degree within 2 years.

20% of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years (All others)

38% of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years (highest research)

Georgia

3% of students complete their associates degree within 2 years.

19% of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years (All others)

45% of students complete their bachelor's degree within 4 years (highest research)

Source: Complete College America Data Dashboard - Read more.


The rarely asked question: How many of your students graduate in 4-years?

You would be surprised as to how many colleges avoid this question and how many colleges prefer to report 6-year graduation statistics instead. These number can actually be pretty hard to find. The Chronicle of Higher Education keeps a pretty thorough collection of these statistics with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. How does your college stack-up?

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Source: Graduation rates Georgia public colleges (4-year) - Chronicle of Higher Education


How much do these extra years cost? about as much or more than the first 4 years of in-state college.

$85,430 - The cost of a 5th year of college

$174,044 - The cost of a 5th & 6th year of college

How is this even possible? Again, blind spots. You have to really think this through. When you factor in lost years of income along with an increasing income wedge over time, these mistakes can really add-up. Read More.

Sources: US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Current Population Survey, March Supplement; US Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics 2012, The College Board Trends in College Pricing 2013, and Trends in Student Aid 2013


First, students who spend an extra one or two years in school as a full-time student incur an opportunity cost in the form of forgone earnings. Economists measure this cost as the wages one could have earned with a college degree had one graduated a year or two earlier. Second, entering the job market a year or two late damages students’ lifetime earnings profile. In addition to giving up one or two years of college-level earnings while in school, students miss out on a year or two of experience and the extra push that gives their wages over their working life.
— Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz - Liberty Street Ecomonics September 3, 2014

Rate of return to bachelors degree based on time to completion, 2013

Sources: US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Current Population Survey, March Supplement; US Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics 2012, The College Board Trends in College Pricing 2013, and Trends in Student Aid 2013

The rate of return of a bachelors degree is reduced by 40% when completed in 6-years instead of 4-years.