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  • As Job Market Heats Up, More High School Seniors Skip College

    Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 66 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds who graduated from high school in 2013 enrolled in college that fall -- the lowest number since 2006. This is the third decline in the past four years, writes Ben Casselman at FiveThirtyEight.

  • STEM Classes Equal Better Pay, But Students Don't Care
    Students who choose STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors usually make more money after graduation than those who choose non-science fields. Even taking a few STEM classes can boost job security and earnings. However, high school students couldn't care less. This is a problem for us all.
  • Public Colleges Are Getting More Expensive, and Here's Why

    If it seem like tuition costs are out of control, it's not your imagination. Higher education is expensive, even at a public institution, where the average tuition and fees averaged about $14,300 during the 2011-2 academic year. Meanwhile, the median household income in the US was approximately $50,500 for 2011. Do you know anyone who could afford to part with 28 percent of their family income, even for a good investment like education?

  • The Harvard Handout: Wealthy Donors Giving Big Money to Already Rich Colleges
    Recently, Slate's Matthew Yglesias argued against donating large amounts of money to wealthy schools like Harvard University. His position is that Ivy League schools already have huge endowments, and that most of the students attending these elite schools have wealthy families supporting them financially.
  • 'Tuition' Is a Beyonce-Inspired Plea for Student Debt Forgiveness

    Seventy-one percent of college seniors carry student loan debt; worse, 35 percent of college graduates under 30 are "seriously delinquent" in paying their loans, which means that they haven't made a payment for 90 days or longer. Meanwhile, unemployment remains high among recent graduates and real wages have declined. What's a cash-strapped college grad to do? Make a Beyonce parody video, obviously.

  • Work Colleges Offer a Unique ROI
    Many students graduate with epic amounts of student loan debt -- unless they attend one of seven work colleges in the US. These colleges require students to be employed at the school in any one of a variety of roles, both to earn money for tuition and to gain real-life work experience as they go, thus making college more affordable.
  • Is It Still Worth It to Study Humanities?

    Take a look at the top schools in PayScale's College ROI data package, and one thing quickly becomes clear: If you want to become a millionaire (or at least, a hundred-thousandaire) by working, majoring in a STEM field is a good foundation. But that doesn't mean that majoring in humanities is a waste of your time, even from a financial perspective.

  • Learn to Love 'Bad' Grades, Make More Money Later On

    Why do fewer women major in STEM fields? In part, research suggests, it's because they don't want to risk earning less-than-amazing grades -- even if a B in a science field would allow them to graduate with a better-paying degree than an A in humanities.

  • New Aid for Undocumented Students: Which Schools Offer the Best ROI?
    Washington State recently became the fifth state to enact legislation offering financial aid to students who arrived in the country illegally by way of their parents. Now that college is within reach of a new population, finding the right school for the money becomes the next hurdle.
  • State vs. Student: Who Spends More on Public Higher Education
    The cost of public higher education is increasingly being shouldered by students, rather than state governments. Data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education illustrates the significance of that shift beginning in the year 2000, when 93 percent of states paid more than students for public higher education, in comparison with 2012, when the number of states carrying more of the cost had dropped to 52 percent.
  • These 3 Schools and Degrees Have the Worst ROI

    We've written a lot about the colleges and majors that offer their graduates the best return on investment for their tuition dollar. But what about the schools and degrees that have the worst? Using PayScale data, The Atlantic decided to find out.

  • Why Care About College ROI? 3 Words: Student Loan Debt

    Earlier this year, President Obama sent a handwritten apology to University of Texas art historian Ann Collins Johns, after saying in a speech that students could "make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." While it's true that the value of education goes far beyond employment, in an era when 71 percent of college seniors carry student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower, it's impossible to talk about higher education without bringing up the potential return on investment that specific majors and schools offer.

  • College ROI: STEM Degrees Still Dominated by Male Students

    Unsurprisingly, majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field is strongly correlated with a high return on investment in your college degree. And therein lies one of the main reasons for the gender wage gap: women are far less likely to choose STEM majors than men, and more likely to change majors to a non-STEM field.

  • Interactive Map: Ethnicity, Graduation Rates, and College ROI

    College graduation rates are on the rise among students who identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native, according to The National Center for Education Statistics. In fact, in 2009-2010, over 27 percent of all bachelor's degrees were awarded to students who did not identify as White.

  • The 10 Public Colleges and Universities With the Highest ROI

    Public colleges and universities often get short shrift when people talk about the value of higher education. That's because it's so easy to be seduced by the brand-name of an ivy-covered institution of higher learning. But when it comes to getting the highest earning power for your tuition dollar -- and a top-drawer education, to boot -- you can't do better than these schools.

  • Why Do Graduates Leave Their State?
    Public colleges and universities rely heavily on state funding in order to offer affordable classes to their student body. However, in some states, that same student body leaves after graduation, essentially causing the public system of higher education to invest in the workforce for other states. The reasons for this are complex and surprising; it certainly requires more than a quick fix.
  • #PayChat: Examining the Value of a College Degree
    These days, many people question the value of a college education. Is it worth the cost, and how should the value of a college degree be measured?
  • 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of College

    For the price of a college education, you could buy a house in many parts of the country -- sometimes, with enough left over to put a car in the driveway and boat in the yard. Of course, without a college education, it's hard to find enough money for any of those things. But the fact remains that just going to college is no longer enough to set you on the path to success, however you define it. Here's how to get the most out of your (hundreds of thousands of) tuition dollars.

  • Free Community College -- But at a Cost

    How much is a free two-year degree worth? That's the question facing the state of Tennessee. Gov. Bill Haslam's "Tennessee Promise" program offers to pick up community college tuition bills for anything other aid doesn't cover -- at the cost of about $1.1 million of scholarships to four-year schools.

  • Is College Still Worth the High Cost of Tuition?

    For every pundit who assures us that college is not for everyone, there's a study reminding us that employers often feel differently. But with college tuition costs skyrocketing -- even at public schools, and with financial aid -- we could be forgiven for wondering exactly what we're getting out of our tuition dollars.