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Chew on this on this fine weekend morning: would you rather have $500,000 in your hand or have a completed degree from a 4-year college of your choosing? What about any school outside the Top 25?

UPDATE: Tyler Cowen shares this with us:

Data available from the UC Office of the President shows that there were 2.5 faculty members for each senior manager in the UC system in 1993. Now there are as many senior managers as faculty.  Just think: Each professor could have his or her personal senior manager.

And there is this:

A report on administrative growth by the UCLA Faculty Association estimated that UC would have $800 million more each year if senior management had grown at the same rate as the rest of the university since 1997, instead of four times faster.

What could we do with $800 million? That is the total amount of the state funding cuts for 2008-09 and 2009-10, and four times the savings of the employee furloughs. Consider this: UC revenue from student fees has tripled in the last eight years. The ratio of state general fund revenue to student fee revenue in 1997 was 3.6:1. Last year it was 1.9:1. If we used that $800 million to reduce student fees, the ratio would go back to the 1997 value. To put another way, it could pay the educational fees for 100,000 resident undergraduates.

Here is more.  For the pointer I thank David Colquhoun.

You know what needs to be Occupied. Sadly it will never happen.

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One Response to “The Value of a College Education”

  1. Harry says:

    Well, I got a great college education, even though in retrospect cannot count all the missed opportunities or wasted time. Wish I had taken a few more economics courses, but then I would not have met my wife. I thank my parents and my uncle for giving me a liberal education.

    Of course having a degree has been worth half a million, even if it meant not having to be dependent on others for the rest of my life.

    Now, Wintercow elsewhere has made a great point about the productivity, the ratio of output over input, of educational institutions, the guild that awards degrees. As a person who did many hiring interviews for people seeking high-paying jobs, I would question the value of a degree, unless I were hiring for Intel and the person had a degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT or a similar situation. What I would want to know is whether the person could reason, and whether the person is honest.

    Anybody who applies who tells me he went to Amherst and ran punt returns on an advantageously unlevel playing field, would I recommend him to my bosses, the Koch brothers?

    Best wishes to Dana, one of WC’s students who landed a good job.

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