Interestingly, the cost of college education is rising at a far greater pace than the rest of the economy. Forbes compared annual inflation rates over a 21-year period, from 1994 – 2015, and education was the big winner:
If education costs continue to rise at that pace, I’ll be paying somewhere between $176,000 and $492,000 by the time my little cherub enters college.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t put a price on education.” But can you? A colleague of mine, Paul Van Siclen, thinks you can come pretty close. His son is currently shopping for colleges, and Paul wanted a consolidated view of the mountains of available data out there on school rankings.
So he pulled data from a number of sources, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid, which provides more than $150 billion in financial aid annually to more than 13 million students across 6,200 colleges.
The resulting Qlik Sense app, University Insights, is a treasure trove for anyone interested in exploring college performance and student loan data. It pulls together student demographics, tuition costs, loan and default rates, as well as external factors such as GDP and medial income.
So, are higher tuition costs really worth it? Do students who pay more for college actually earn more? Explore the app for yourself to find out.
And as for me, it might be time to ramp up that college savings plan.