Yes, We Should Tell Kids If College Will Make Them Poor
It's perfectly fair to rate colleges on their ROI, Jordan Weissmann argues
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2014 1:10 PM CDT
Updated Mar 31, 2014 1:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – A lot of academics get awfully defensive when it comes to PayScale's annual report ranking colleges based, essentially, on how much money their grads make compared to the cost of their educations. "Saying that a mineral engineer makes twice what an artist does, and therefore this particular art school isn't worth it, that just seems absurd," psychology professor Cedar Reiner writes. Art students know school won't pay off. "They choose to pay for training anyway. Is the art school making them poorer?"

To which Jordan Weissmann at Slate has a simple reply: Yes, it really is. "There's nothing absurd about holding colleges accountable for what their students earn," he writes, especially given the widespread belief that for-profit colleges overcharge. Yes, art graduates may make less than engineers, but that doesn't excuse some art schools from being rip-offs. We do need to be careful not to over-emphasize salary, lest schools shy away from poor applicants, and President Obama has proposed more robust metrics. In the meantime we have PayScale, and "the really absurd thing … is that we still have to battle for such basic information." Click for Weissman's full column.

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
Mar 31, 2014 7:12 PM CDT
The majority of college degrees cost 35 to 45,000 and are worthless for job finding or advancement. The degrees handed out today would not have qualified someone to pass high school in 60's and 70's. Each student needs to really qualify for college using the same system in place in Germany where only the top 5% go to college. The college system is simply a way for banks to make money and education doesn't even enter the equation.
Mar 31, 2014 6:38 PM CDT
Yes, give them the information, but what the heck did these kids do the first 18 years of their life - play video games and text friends? By the time I went to college, I had a pretty good idea about money, debt, and income. How do you not know that? Parents and/or high schools must be doing a terrible job.
Mar 31, 2014 5:23 PM CDT
Let's follow this to its conclusion. Force everybody to get STEM degrees and flood the market that can absorb a finite number of engineers and scientists so that those who do the hiring have an upper hand to offer lower salaries until PhD scientists subsist on food stamps even though they work full time. Meanwhile, because they are not profitable, lets eliminate art, literature, music, philosophy and all culture so that Shakespeare, Goethe, Victor Hugo will be replaced by the more profitable true romance novels, symphonies and concertos and the opera houses will be replaced by American Idol and Immanuel Kant will be replaced by "The Secret" sold by Nightingale-Conant, architecture by Frank Lloyd-wright and Matti Suuronen will be replaced by trailer parks and Atlantic City casinos. That way the public will be nice and dumbed down so that they will all be good little boys and girls and eat their McDonald's, drink their Coke, be passionate about sports, give equal time to creationism and astrology and live and think the way the rock/pop songs on the radio tell them to live and think.