Posts Tagged ‘ family income ’

College Tuition Rising Way Ahead of Family Incomes

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A new study comparing college tuition with family income has found that tuition has more than doubled relative to income in the past four decades.  More from Newsweek:

That cost includes tuition, fees, and room and board for full-time students at degree-granting institutions—for both public and private colleges and universities. Back then, the average cost came to $9,502 after adjusting for inflation, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2012, the average was $19,339. With a typical family earning $51,017—the U.S. median income—college tuition for just one child will absorb almost 40 percent of their income. That surpasses housing as the single biggest household expense.

If college costs were rising along with family income, there wouldn’t be a problem. But college costs have risen way ahead of income. There are several reasons. For starters, administration costs have been growing rapidly on most campuses. In part this has to do with an explosion in applications and enrollments, which require more resources. But salaries of administrators, particularly those in charge, seem out of line with the rest of the institution. It’s not unheard of for compensation of the president of a large university to approach $1 million. Meanwhile, campuses have seen a boom in infrastructure spending to upgrade student facilities like gyms, student centers and dorms. Finally, many public universities have offset cuts in state aid by raising fees.

Of course, the price of college varies greatly depending on where you go, and whether the institution is public or private. Almost three-quarters of Americans attend public universities and colleges, where costs have been rising quickly but still remain far less than private institutions. In 1969, public colleges and universities charged an average of $7,206, compared with $14,292 in 2012, after adjusting for inflation. By contrast, private institutions averaged $15,329 back then, vs. $33,047 in 2012.

Today, the cost of a private college or university would be unattainable for most families if they didn’t get substantial financial aid. At elite colleges and universities, the cost is considerably more than what a typical family earns. Without financial aid, a single year at Princeton can set you back $58,965.

Image: Money, via Shutterstock

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Moms Outearn Dads in a Quarter of US Homes

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

In a quarter of American families, working mothers earn more money than their husbands–the highest level in history.  Though mothers are often have at least as much education as their husbands, a majority of fathers still earn more than their wives.  But the changes are still striking, as NBC News reports:

Overall, women — including those who are unmarried — are now the leading or solo breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households, compared with just 11 percent in 1960, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed by Pew.

That’s both good news and bad news, depending on which end of the scale you examine. At the top level, educated women are catching up with men in the workforce. But at the bottom rungs, there are more single mothers than ever and most of them are living near the poverty line.

“It’s a long-term trend since the ’60s that the breadwinner moms have gone up,” said Wendy Wang, a Pew research associate and the lead author of the report.

Of the married women making more money than their spouses, 71 percent of the husbands are working and they have a median family income of $80,000, according to 2011 numbers.

In 1960, only 4 percent of married moms were making more than their husbands; now it’s 23 percent. That translates into 5.1 million married “breadwinner moms.”

Of the women making more than their husbands, 49 percent have a college degree or higher and 65 percent are white. Most are also in their peak earning years — 67 percent of these women are between the ages of 30 and 50.

Image: Working mother, via Shutterstock

 

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