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When Higher Education Doesn't Pay Back

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The editors at Cheap Online Degrees decided to research the topic of


College is usually a good investment, but that is not the case for every single school in America. You may want to think about your decisions before you hand over that big tuition check.


Based on payscale's 2013 ROI report. Negative return of investment is where the cost of attending college actually outweighs the long term benefits.

- Florida Memorial University
- 2012 cost: $112,000
- Graduation rate: 42%
- Cost/Credit Hour for undergraduate: $516
- Over the past 30 years, graduates have had an avg. return investment of -$114,000
- Due to high percentage of graduates focusing on majors in criminal justice, psychology, and social work
- All majors with high social benefits and little financial benefits

University of Maine at Presque Isle

- Only state school to make top 5 for negative Return of Investment
- 2012 cost: $79,330
- Graduation rate: 30%
- Cost/ Credit hour: $220 for in state residents, $552 for out of state
- Over the past 30 years, graduates have had a return investment of -$124,000
- Due to production of lots of teachers who avg. only $55,418 for 2011 - 2012 in the U.S according to national education association

Miles College

- 2012 cost: $92,280
- Graduation rate: 20%
- Cost/Credit hour: $431
- Over past 30 years, graduates have had a return investment of -$136,000
- Due to high concentration of majors such as education, criminal justice and social work

Valley Forge Christian College

- 2012 cost: $114,100
- Graduation Rate: 55%
- Tuition per year: $17,614
- Over the past 30 years, graduates have had a return investment of -$178,000 dollars
- Due to the most popular degree being religious studies
- Avg salary for religious studies as of 2012 is $42,000 dollars

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

- 2012 cost: $155,000
- Graduation Rate: 37%
- Tuition/Credit Hour: $470
- Over the past 30 years, graduates have had a return investment of -$228,000
- the wall street journal reports that art school graduates average $21,576 in student debt while earning $40,000 a year in starting salary


A degree has always been considered the key to a good job. However, high fees and rising tuition costs, along with the shrinking financial and educational returns, have made higher education less profitable.

- 1 in 3 college students drop out after 1st year, wasting around 9 billion dollars every year
- Only 1 in 3 college students graduate debt free
- Avg. student debt - $26,000 dollars
- 44% of graduates delay buying a house due to college debt
- 39% of grads say it will take at least 10 years to pay off school loans
- 4 of the top 10 majors in college include majors that do not have much financial gain
- Communications, social sciences, english, psychology
- PEW Research Center reports 75% of Americans say college is too expensive with the average annual cost of a 4 year university being $15,100
- McKinsey & Co. reports that less than 50% of American employers believe that their new employees are adequately prepared by colleges or training programs.
- America has several skill mismatches.
- Microsoft reports that between 2010 and 2020, there will be over 120,000 computing jobs that will require a bachelors degree
- America only produces 40,000 degrees in computer science annually.

2013 is still a year of uncertainty and change for many colleges. They need to harness 4 areas to help improvement.

- Synchronize their work with the K-12 education system.
- Provide lower cost alternatives and control some rising costs.
- Take responsibility for, define and measure the skills they provide to students.
- Take control of technology in management and teaching.