A new study from Georgetown University has found a gap between what young workers make and what they must pay for a college education has grown significantly over the last few decades, according to CNBC.
Students attending a public in-state University can expect to pay an average of $27,330 in tuition and fees, as well as other typical college costs, while those attending a private, non-profit University can expect to pay an average of $55,800 in total costs.
With the relatively modest increases in tuition and fees this year, the average tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 school year were approximately $37,650 at private colleges and universities, $10,560 at public universities, and $3,770 at public community colleges and universities, respectively.
According to Georgetown University research, children who grow up in relatively privileged families have access to supportive and enriching environments, which increases the likelihood that they will succeed in life. Equally gifted children from low-income families, on the other hand, are hampered due to a lack of resources.
If a child from the lowest socioeconomic group has high kindergarten test scores, his or her chances of getting into college and finding an entry-level job are only 3 out of 10, while the chances are 7 out of 10 for the highest socioeconomic group’s children who have low kindergarten test scores.
COVID-19 struck at a time where young people were already at a disadvantage economically. Preceding the pandemic, the youth labor market was already lagging behind where it had been at the beginning of the 21st century.
A Step Forward
Researchers have found that between 1980 and 2019, college costs have risen by 169 percent, while wages for workers aged 22 to 27 have increased only 19 percent, based on data from the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and National Center for Education Statistics, as per CNBC.
As the pressures on today’s youth increase and youth policies fall short, it’s evident just how drastically the world has changed in the span of a single generation. Prior to World War II and until the 1980s, young people, particularly young men, could get good jobs in the industrial economy right after graduation from high school. However, today’s youth-to-adulthood transition is much longer and more difficult than it used to be, according to the research.
The research then suggested that from the moment a child is born, people must invest in their education and prepare them for the job market and that it would be a positive step forward if the Build Better Act were passed, as it would pave the way for systemic reform. Ultimately, however, it needs to go further.