For more than 100 years, college has been considered a sound and desirable investment in one’s financial future. But unlike other forms of investment, those contemplating dropping more than $100,000 to obtain a degree from a private university, or $28,000 for one from a public university, seldom stop to consider whether what made sense for a previous generation still makes sense today.
Although most middle-class parents regard the idea of not “investing” in their children’s college degrees about as positively as necrophilia and cannibalism, examining the current value proposition of higher education should not be a controversial concept. The fact that National Lead may have been a great investment in 1910 doesn’t mean that it is in 2010. Apple was a fantastic investment in 1990, but looks significantly less promising now that its $233 billion market cap has exceeded Microsoft’s.