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ERIC Number: ED539548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct-5
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Regardless of the Cost, College Still Matters
Greenstone,, Michael; Looney, Adam
Hamilton Project
The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in September, falling below 8 percent for the first time since January 2009. Furthermore, the share of working-age Americans who are employed increased to 58.7 percent, the highest level since May 2010. Employers added 114,000 jobs last month, and an average of more than 145,000 over the past three months, roughly the same pace of job growth experienced over 2011 and 2012. As America continues its recovery from the Great Recession, there is an ongoing debate in the media and among policymakers about the value of a college degree in today's economic climate. One issue that is receiving a significant amount of attention is the rising cost of college. Indeed, tuition has increased by almost "50 percent" in the last 30 years, prompting some people to ask whether college is still worth the price of admission. In this analysis, The Hamilton Project confirms its previous findings that the returns to college attendance are much higher than other investments, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. The authors also find that the returns to college have been largely constant over the last 35 years, indicating that the rising tuition costs have been offset by the increased earnings premium for college graduates. Finally, they continue to explore the nation's "jobs gap," or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels.
Hamilton Project. Available from: Brookings Institution. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6484; Fax: 202-741-6575; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States