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Collegiate Americans: The Cost of College is About 50% Too High

The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the current U.S. college world. Big changes could be coming.

A pair of new surveys show college-going Americans believe they’ve “grossly overpaid” for their college education. Many also say they now face “severely diminished” income-earning prospects

The data comes from TestMax, a college test prep company based in Santa Monica, Cal.

The company has released two surveys of over 3,000 students from U.S. universities (one survey canvasses undergraduates and the other one covers graduate school students). The studies claim “grave implications for the future of higher education - indicating a looming collapse - and reflect the depth of the COVID-19 recession’s impact on the job market.”

Take a look at these eye-opening takeaways from both surveys:

--- 74% of undergrads feel they have overpaid for their education by an average of 57%.

--- 56% of undergrads, state their income-earning abilities have been diminished by an average of 57% and 45%, respectively.

--- 62% of students said it will take them considerably longer than anticipated to pay off their student loans.

--- 50% of law students say that if it were possible, they would likely not have chosen to go to law school knowing what they know now.


“The general finding is that students overwhelmingly feel that tuition is about 50% too high relative to their income-earning abilities,” TestMax states. “Such findings, as time goes on, could dramatically disrupt the norm of higher-education, and lead to monumental shifts in how young people enter the workforce.”

The company also notes that the traditional path from high-school to college to the workforce has been disrupted by COVID-19 and that the $23 billion in lost revenue this Fall (from a 15% admission reduction linked to the pandemic) is “just the beginning” of higher education's decline.

Overall, TestMax paints a grim picture of the current U.S. college landscape these days. Could the stranglehold colleges historically hold on young Americans looking for professional careers be coming to an end?

It’s likely too early to say, but you can’t discount the possibility - and this data proves it.