In a speech Thursday in Syracuse, N.Y., President Obama offered up one fact that speaks volumes about what has gone wrong with higher education: During the past three decades, the average price of a four-year degree at a public university has risen by 250 percent, while average family income has risen by just 16 percent.
People are still going to college, in ever greater numbers. Because even at today’s prices, a degree remains the key to economic success. The jobless rate among college graduates is less than 4 percent today, and never exceeded 5.1 percent during the depth of the recession. Incomes of college graduates are about 80 percent higher than those of high school graduates.