Dystopian Education Assignment

  • The average cost of a four-year education is $95,488 (four-year extrapolation based on average annual cost data of 2012-2013 for all 4-year institutions from NCES).
  • 33% of student can afford college education without loans (based on number of students who did not receive any loans for their education—2011-2012 data from NCES).
  • The average student loan debt per student is $25,900 (based on 2011-2012 data from NCES).
  • Student loans cannot be inherited unless child was a co-signer of parent’s loan. Federal student loans are canceled upon student’s death, while private loans pass to the co-signer or sometimes the borrower’s spouse.
  • Unemployment rate for college graduates is 7.2 % for those aged 20-24, and 4.8% for those aged 25-29 (based on unemployment rate among bachelor degree holders from 2012 NCES data).
  • Percentage of teaching staff who work on a contingent basis (adjunct) is 76% (data from American Association of University Professors survey). Benefits offered will vary by institution, but according to a House Committee survey 75% of adjunct professor do not receive any benefits.
  • If living wage is assumed to be synonymous with the US poverty line for a family of three (the average US family size. rounded up), then 42% of adjunct professors would be at or below the poverty line ($19,790) based on their salary alone. 8% would be so even if living alone ($11,670 for family size of 1). Data derived from House Committee survey.

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