Now would be a good time to dust off that Ivy League degree

columbia graduation 2009

That's me and my blurry friends at our Columbia graduation in 2009, completely unaware of the employment shitshow that comes with a liberal arts degree in a recession. (Photo courtesy of Amari Hammonds!)

In a story yesterday, CNBC.com asked a question I’ve been posing on my blog for the past year and a half: Are Ivy League diplomas still worth the price of admission?

Newsflash #1: You can get the same education elsewhere. But according to the article, when it comes to getting a job, your smartypants brand name can’t be beat. Continue reading

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As Ivy Leagued and Unemployed as you can get

drug dealer

Notice the higher tier of preppy collared shirts.

Something tells me these kids are going to have a harder time getting a job than I did:

Five Columbia students were arrested today for drug dealing. Continue reading

Don’t worry, Ivy League grads, your tuition money is going in the right place

cash pile

Looks like hundreds of thousands of dollars well spent!

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger was the Ivy League’s highest-paid president in 2008 at $1.75 million in total compensation, as 30 college leaders received more than $1 million in pay.

Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania joined Columbia as Ivy League schools paying their top executive more than $1 million, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Boy, that $200K of college debt sure feels worth it, don’t it?

Avoid these schools unless you have at least $400 million in the bank

student loan debt

This poor kid isn't trying to do his elementary math homework with the help of the cash in his mom's wallet: he's trying to figure out how many years of fake photos he'll have to pose in to pay for one semester of college.

The Washington Post Company released some sobering stats about how expensive an education has become. The Chronicle of Education released a similar report last year that showed university prices steadily growing. This is particularly depressing given that, as you can see, a college degree (even one that can provoke impressed oohs and aahs) isn’t really worth that much anymore. And yet, the number of kids taking out loans has been the highest in nine years.

So you can take your US News & World statistics and shove it. In a far more useful ranking system, Gawker crunched their numbers and revealed the top ten universities that will land you in the highest student debt. See the schools to avoid, no matter how awesome their lavish cafeterias are supposed to be, after the jump: Continue reading

Unemployed law school grad goes on hunger strike

ethan haines tee shirt

Each $20 purchase will help support at least one law school grad's Ramen Noodles dinner.

When I was a young overachiever, my parents once hoped that, like all book-smart JAPs with attitude, I would make the family proud and join the ranks of well-paying society with nothing more than my ability to talk fast and memorize hundreds of pages of jargon: I would go to law school.

Years later when I discovered how much work that would be, I dashed their hopes and dreams and instead pursued the lowlier profession of writer blogger somewhat employed web assistant. Turns out, mom and dad, I was right!

In this economy, even lawyers can’t get jobs! And Ethan Haines, an ’09 law school grad, is fed up with it. So he did what any unemployed JD would do: start a hunger strike. Continue reading

Breaking: a college degree isn’t really worth that much

college degree money

Something tells me it's going to take more than this little piggy to pay 4 years of tuition.

The WSJ reports:

Most researchers agree that college graduates, even in rough economies, generally fare better than individuals with only high-school diplomas. But just how much better is where the math gets fuzzy.

The problem stems from the common source of the estimates, a 2002 Census Bureau report titled “The Big Payoff.” The report said the average high-school graduate earns $25,900 a year, and the average college graduate earns $45,400, based on 1999 data. The difference between the two figures is $19,500; multiply it by 40 years, as the Census Bureau did, and the result is $780,000. Continue reading

The number of college students taking out loans is highest in nine years

woman screaming

This women has just seen her student loan bill.

According to an annual nationwide survey released today, about two-thirds of incoming students said they had “some” or “major” concern about their ability to pay for their education.

The percentage of those with “some” concern — 55.4 — was at its highest level since 1971. The number of students taking out loans was at its highest in nine years, at 53.3 percent. The number whose fathers were unemployed — 4.5 percent — was the highest in the history of the survey. The number of students whose mothers were unemployed was higher — 7.9 percent — and at its highest since 1979.

“What all this points to is that they are going to be graduating with a larger debt burden than students in the past,” Mr. Pryor told the NYT. More fun stats below! Continue reading

10 colleges you should avoid unless your last name is Rockefeller

columbia

This is the sweet little image of academia that cost me over 100K.

The Chronicle of Higher Education released a report of the priciest colleges and universities this year.

My alma mater was #6 on the list with a 4.5% increase in total cost reaching $51, 544 (versus last year’s not very encouraging $49,306).

But if anything, that was the only Ivy school in the mix. Most other renowned, private institutions are charging just as much.  (Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Privately Schooled and Unemployed).

A list of the most expensive schools after the jump! Continue reading