In the good old days, college students could use their summer job earnings to pay their tuition.
That was once upon a time. It’s not true anymore.
College tuition has gone up a monumental 1,120 percent in the U.S. since 1978. Meanwhile, the cost of food has increased 244 percent during the same period. If you’re still paying off your college tuition loans, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that that student loans have overtaken credit cards as the second largest source of outstanding debt in the U.S. (Home mortgages are number one.) Indeed, tuition costs in the U.S. have gone up four times faster than the consumer price index. University tuition has also been under scrutiny in the U.K. due to tuition price hikes for home students (UK/EU) and an increase in premium charges for international students.
The high cost of a university degree along with the vagaries of the job market have created a student debt collection crisis in the U.S. The federal student loan balance has more than doubled from $516 billion to 1.2 trillion since 2007. And that’s just federal student loans. If you count private student loans to students, their parents and former students, you can add another $150 billion to the number.
It is hard to link more career success to having attended an elite school despite the wattage of a top brand image. Of course, having attended an elite school might help you win out over another candidate for your first job out of the graduation gate. Over time, though, it’s all about your performance, your leadership, your network, and your brand, not the school’s brand.