Entries in Degree (2)


More Americans See College as Bad Investment, Survey Finds

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The college degree continues to lose its value in the face of costs that overwhelm the finances of many American families.

That’s the finding of a national survey of 3,000 Americans commissioned by Country Financial.  According to the poll, the number of adults who think college is a good investment plummeted from 81 percent in 2008 to just 57 percent in 2012.

While recognition of the value of a college education was on the upswing from 2007 to 2008, rising from 78 percent to 81 percent, since the Great Recession began the figures have dropped like a stone.  The steepest decline came in 2008 and 2009, when the number of people that saw college as a good investment dropped from 79 percent to 64 percent.

Despite the pessimism surrounding college education as an investment, the survey found that Americans were willing to spend more for a college degree.  In 2012, four in ten Americans viewed student loan debt of $20,000 or more as acceptable, up from three in ten Americans in 2011.

“Even with the cost of college rising faster than inflation, a college degree is more valuable than ever,” Joe Buhrmanan, a manager at Country Financial said in a statement.  ”And, an aggressive plan for funding your child’s education can help eliminate the burden of unmanageble student loan debt.”

In the survey by Country Financial Security, the majority of Americans found the quality of education to be the most important aspect when evaluating colleges, while 25 percent considered the cost of college to be more important.

According to the U.S. Department of Education College Affordability Center, the most expensive four-year non-profit college is Connecticut College with a whopping tuition price tag of $43,990.  At $15,250, Pennsylvania State (Main Campus) holds the number one spot for least expensive tuition at a four-year public institution.

The individuals most likely to be saddled with the rising cost of college are parents.  According to the survey, 80 percent of Americans believe that mom and dad should be partially responsible for footing the bill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unemployed Law School Student Pens Letter to Dean Asking for His Tuition Money Back

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- A Boston College law student unhappy with his job prospects has made the university an offer: return his money and he'll forfeit his degree.

The proposition was made in an open letter written anonymously by the student, who's identified only as a third-year law school student. The letter was posted last week on the law school's independent student-run website, Eagleionline.

The letter, addressed to the school's Interim Dean George Brown, explains how the student is unable to support his wife and the baby they're expecting and is in "an enormous amount of debt" from his time at Boston College.

"With fatherhood impending, I go to bed every night terrified of the thought of trying to provide for my child AND paying off my J.D., and resentful at the thought that I was convinced to go to law school by empty promises of a fulfilling and remunerative career," the student, who says he's set to graduate in 2011, writes.

In the letter, the student criticizes the university's career services department, saying he and his peers have received "little help" to cope with their "financial disasters."

One year at Boston College Law School, including tuition and housing, costs about $60,000, according to the school's website.

"I'd like to propose a solution to this problem:  I am willing to leave law school, without a degree, at the end of this semester," writes the student.  "In return, I would like a full refund of the tuition I've paid over the last two and a half years."

Repeated requests by ABC News to interview the student were declined.  Brown was also not made available for an interview, but a spokesman for the law school issued a written statement.

"As a Jesuit law school, we are deeply concerned about the job prospects and general well-being of our students and our recent graduates," said Nate Kenyon, the director of communications at Boston College.  "The job market in the legal profession and beyond has been severely affected by the current economic downturn, which has resulted in one of the most difficult employment climates in the past 70 years, not only for BC Law, but for all schools across the nation."

Kenyon also added "no institution of higher education can make a guarantee of a job after graduation."  Kenyon further disputes the student's claim that the school's career services are inadequate, writing in the statement the office is committed to working with each student "for as long as necessary to help them find employment."

It is not yet known whether the university is willing to compromise with the student on any of his requests, but in a section on the school's website addressing tuition refunds, the policy reads, "No tuition will be refunded after the fifth week of classes."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio