One of the most dangerous misconceptions about the economy right now is that rising student debt and stagnating middle class wages prove that college isn't "worth it" any more
We're pushing up against a cost crisis in higher education, where the escalating price of college isn't reflected in similarly escalating income gains for graduates. But the price of not attending college -- that is, the wage difference between college graduates and high school graduates -- has doubled in the last 30 years. That suggests that the fundamental crisis in college is not costs but, well, advertising --better information in the hands of undecided customers. Getting a degree at a good school has never been more important. The challenge is getting that information to families and teenagers who don't know it, yet.
Poorer families without former college-graduates typically don't have a good understanding of local colleges; the difference between listed tuition price and net cost; financial aid opportunities; or the admissions process. News stories about college being unaffordable only serve to justify their indifference toward continuing their education past high school, according to 2001 report by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. A separate study found that low-income teens overestimate tuition costs by 100% and repeatedly underestimate the lifetime gains among university graduates.