Phi Beta Cons

Up & Away

George Leef frequently reminds us that college education is overvalued and oversold. But it looks like the price will do nothing but rise, according to this story in today’s Washington Post:

“The economic demand for a college education will only rise,” said David Hawkins, director of public policy for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “I do not think anyone should count on an admission environment that is any less crowded than the one that we are experiencing now.”

Demography is destiny? Check out these data:

The U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics says the number of graduating high school seniors will peak at 3.3 million in 2011 and decline only slightly to 3.2 million by 2016. Most educators predict that the percentage of those students going to college — now about 67 percent — will increase and make the application process even more stressful. Undergraduate enrollment, for instance, is projected conservatively to increase from 15.2 million this year to 16.6 million in 2015, the center says.

So the demand for top schools will increase, but the supply of spaces won’t:

Florida-based financial aid expert Reecy Aresty said that parents and students should also forget about the most sought-after colleges building more dorms to admit more students, which would just cut into their budgets. “All colleges realize that the applicant pool is getting better, and they have no need to expand to admit more students and take on additional costs,” he said.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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