It’s a no-brainer that college costs have steadily increased. But you might be surprised to learn just exactly how much they’ve skyrocketed.
According to a new Bloomberg chart, the price of a college degree has soared a whopping 538% since 1985.
Meanwhile, consider this comparison: During the same time span, the consumer price index (which measures overall inflation) rose by 121% and medical costs grew by 286%.
What’s more, as MSN Money reports, is that it doesn’t look like that more-expensive degree is actually worth its heftier price tag. In fact, grads are, on average, earning $3,200 less than they did back in 2000—and, compared to a decade ago, the number of grads who are only earning minimum wage has increased 70%.
With numbers this shocking, it’s no surprise that lawmakers are working to keep college costs from ballooning out of control. This summer, Congress debated about the rising interest rates on student loans, and President Obama proposed new plans to make college more affordable just last week.
Many experts see the need to act quickly on the matter. Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, told Bloomberg that the continuing increases might just be enough to compromise the “prestige and status” of higher education in America.
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