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

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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

In this economy, “education is basically worthless”*

stack of books

Books have never seemed so useless. (I was a comparative literature major, natch).

In what should be one of the most depressing articles of joblessness to date (a far cry from last year’s perky portrayal of blond twins performing on subways while pursuing the American Dream in New York), the NYT profiles a woman known as a “99er”: a poor soul who has exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits without any luck in finding a new job. And before Republicans Ben Stein anyone starts claiming that it’s her own lazy fault, take note: almost 1.4 million people were out of work for 99 weeks or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I really hope the Times at least took her out to dinner during the interviews, because, damn, her life seems to be one week short of turning tricks on the street. Let’s recap: 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