The price of a college education has been on the rise for quite some time now. Inflation is affecting every part of the US economy, and those prices are being passed down to students who need to buy a college degree. The cost of a college diploma has increased five times as much as inflation in the economy over the past twenty-five years, making it even more difficult for people to buy one. What can you do if you want an education but don’t have enough money?
The Jump in the Cost of College
Going to college has always required a financial investment, but generally the payoff has been worth the cost because of the increased income that is often awarded to people who have a college degree. However, times have changed and inflation is putting an incredible amount of pressure on the price tag associated with a college diploma. According to CollegeBoard.com , between 1982 and 2007, tuition at public universities increased by 440%, which is more than four times as much as overall inflation in that time period (110%).
The Cost for Different Types of Universities
Much of the cost required to buy a college diploma depends on where you choose to go to school. There is a marked difference between the price of a degree at an Ivy League institution and a local school in the state where you live. For example, as of 2019, Harvard University costs $38,891 for tuition and fees. That is a hefty price tag to buy a college diploma especially when you consider that this only covers one year and most students take four years to finish their diploma. You also need to consider that this number doesn’t include any room and board expenses.
As of 2019, the price of most local state schools for in-state students (including room and board) is around $9,876. That’s less than 1/4 the price of a more prestigious university, but can still add up to some serious debt over the course of four years.
Over the last twenty years, spurred by technological advancement, many colleges have developed that only offer online classes. Some you may be familiar with are University of Phoenix or AIU online college. These options are especially good for students who are older and may have other responsibilities like jobs and families. The price of an online school compared to more traditional universities is considerably lower. The average cost of a college degree at an online school is around $15,000 for a diploma.
Is the price worth it to buy a college diploma?
As the economy of the United States, and across the world, has changed dramatically over the last couple of years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors, do people with a college degree make more money than those who only hold a high school diploma?
There are a few factors you need to consider to answer this question. Many things make an education level more advantageous over some others, for example weekly income, additional benefits, and unemployment rate.
In a study compiled by Northeastern University, it was reported that the average income per week of someone who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent was $592. That equals out to around $30,784 per year. Most of the jobs available to individuals lacking a high school diploma did not provide benefits such as health care or paid leave and the unemployment rate for this group was 5.4% in 2020. In the same study it was reported that on average a high school graduate can expect to make around $746 a week, or $38,792 per year. While more of the careers available to high school graduates do offer some additional benefits, the unemployment rate for people with this educational level is still high at around 3.7%.
Northeastern University states that the average salary of a person who has completed their college degree is $1,248. Yearly a person who has a college diploma hanging on their wall can expect to make around $64,896. That is a 40% increase over someone who didn’t buy a college diploma. In addition, most college educated people can expect benefits like paid vacation, medical coverage (including dental and vision insurance), paid family leave and retirement benefits. Finally, the unemployment rate in the population of college degree holders is only around 2.2%.
Buy a college diploma online
It is clear that having a college degree can certainly improve an individual’s financial situation, but it is also clear that the cost to obtain a college diploma can be astronomical and sometimes prohibitive. Another option for getting your diploma is to buy a college diploma online. There are many reputable companies out there, like ValidGrad, that will sell you an entirely completely real looking document (it depends on what you buy) for a tiny fraction of the cost of a real degree. Though it may not serve to improve your job prospects, it is illegal to commit fraud with one of these degrees, it can be useful in deciding whether the real deal is worth the cost.
Choosing your educational future can be a difficult and stress inducing decision. Whether or not to buy a college diploma, or simply enter the workforce is an extremely personal choice. Hopefully this article was able to give you some perspective on the best option for you and your future.