Our take: With the rising cost of a traditional college education, many are pointing out that the return on a bachelor's degree is flat, or even falling. The high cost of a degree is paving the way for entrepreneurial solutions, which would lower the cost of a degree significantly. In a recent column for the New York Times, Arthur C. Brooks discusses one idea gaining traction — the $10,000 college degree. According to Brooks, the $10,000 college degree "is exactly the kind of innovation we would expect in an industry that is showing every indication of a bubble that is about to burst."
Much is being written about the preposterously high cost of college. The median inflation-adjusted household income fell by 7 percent between 2006 and 2011, while the average real tuition at public four-year colleges increased over that period by over 18 percent. Meanwhile, the average tuition for just one year at a four-year private university in 2011 was almost $33,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. College tuition has increased at twice the rate of health care costs over the past 25 years.
Ballooning student loan debt, an impending college bubble, and a return on the bachelor’s degree that is flat or falling: all these things scream out for entrepreneurial solutions.
One idea gaining currency is the $10,000 college degree — the so-called 10K-B.A. — which apparently was inspired by a challenge to educators from Bill Gates, and has recently led to efforts to make it a reality by governors in Texas, Florida and Wisconsin, as well as by a state assemblyman in California.
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