Food for Thought Friday: Better colleges = Better earnings??

College of DuPage 2014 Commencement Cere by COD Newsroom, on Flickr
College of DuPage 2014 Commencement Cere” (CC BY 2.0) by  COD Newsroom 

by Kristie Burk

This week, several of my PLNs were talking about an article in The Wall Street Journal with the controversial title “Do Elite Colleges Lead to Higher Salaries? Only for Some Professions” by Erice R. Eide and Michael J. Hilmer.

After analyzing data from thousands of college graduates, the authors concluded that for some particular majors, elite colleges do not make a difference in future earnings.

“For example, if an engineering student chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania instead of Texas A&M, the average starting salary would differ by less than $1,000, but the tuition difference would be over $167,000. At that slightly higher salary, you’d have to work for more than 150 years before you make up for that vast tuition difference.” – Eide & Hilmer

Do these findings matter? Well, here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, over 70% of college graduates in 2014 were in debt for an average of $33,264, according to the Project on Student Debt.  PA ranked 3rd highest in the country for student debt.

The article is not without its debate, of course.  But it’s definitely good food for thought this Friday.  Check it out and add your voice to the conversation.

Have a great weekend!



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