Pursuing a Financially Stable and Satisfying College Major
As part of the Future of Higher Education series, Steve Adubato and Robert Kelchen, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Seton Hall University and Author, “Higher Education Accountability,” talk about college affordability. Kelchen explains how colleges in New Jersey offer scholarships and grants to help with the costs and the importance of prospective students to pursue a major that will make them happy, but also financially stable after graduation.
"Hi I'm Steve Adubato. Welcome. We're talking about college affordability with someone who knows it very well. He is Robert Kelchen, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Seton Hall University, and the Author of Higher Education Accountability. Good to see you Robert. Good to see you. Glad to be here. Let's talk about affordability. There are a whole bunch of folks watching us right now, in more than a few states, saying, "You know what? I went to school, my kid went to school, and I've got a ton of debt." Is that the norm? Is it the exception? What is it? There's a lot more debt than there used to be. The typical debt for someone with a bachelor's degree is about $37,000 right now. But if you went to graduate school, or if you went to an expensive private college and your parents helped you pay, that's where you see $80,000 to $100,000 in debt. Or even more. In graduate... by the way, I should disclose that our son is in graduate school at Seton Hall as we speak right now, and I can attest to what you just described. [laughter] The whole thing is that people think they know, some people think they know what it costs to go to college, but then they face sticker shock. Describe it. Colleges charge different prices to different people, but the way they do that is they set a high price as a sticker price for everyone and then they'll give you grants or scholarships based on financial need, academic ability, whether you're good at sports, or something else. And you end up with students paying a whole range of different prices. But the concern with that is some people may get scared away by seeing that high sticker price, and not going through applying, and actually seeing the discount that they'll get. Let's talk about this a little bit. Can someone, or a family, with a child, with a k... no longer a child, going to school, is there any... are there any ways that they could realistically, tangibly reduce the cost of higher education? The best way to do that is to finish on time. Most students for a bachelor's degree do not finish in four years anymore. Why does that matter? Because you pay for an extra year, plus you're not out working full time for an extra year. So you have the actual tuition price, you have living, and then you have the opportunity cost of..."