Every now and again you come up against information which destroys a preconceived idea that not only you, but everyone holds – you read it, you believe it, but you can’t help noticing that the availability of this piece of information has no affect whatsoever on what people do!

Everyone knows, for example, that if you study computer science at M.I.T your degree will cost you $228,968 and at Frostburg State your degree will cost you $115,552, but M.I.T’s professors, reputation, and network will more than make up for the additional cost, right?

Wrong!

If you look at your 20 year returns on a computer science degree against the selectivity of the college offering the degree, it makes no significant difference where you got the degree!!

While your friend who went to M.I.T. may earn more money than you, the financial return percentage on his investment is exactly the same.

It’s a little different, and in some ways worse, for people who get an Arts or Humanities degree. The good news is that an expensive school can improve your return on investment by a few percentage points. The bad news is that the range of probable returns is much wider with many of them negative. In other words you may actually lose money on your investment in a college education. For example, a degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art had a negative return of $92,000.

I live right next to MICA, glad to have them as a neighbor, but MICA costs over $50,000 a year plus expenses. Are parents going to continue paying this once they realize what a bad investment this is?

Of course they are!

But why?

Stephen Muirhead
stephen@ignition72.com