Gen Z: The Young and Increasingly Disaffected

As of First Quarter 2021, 3.8 million 20-24 year olds are not in school nor employed, 740,000 more young adults adrift than in First Quarter 2020. While wondering, “Where are they?”, more disturbing to consider is, “What are the long term consequences of a delayed entry into adulthood?”  First, dismay may be transforming into disaffection. The current generation of 20-24…

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Why the May 13, 2021 10 Year Treasury Auction Matters to Student & Parent Loan Borrowers

Federal student loan interest rates, the cost of borrowing money to be paid at a fixed rate over the life of the loan, are set by adding 2.05% for undergraduate loans to the 10 Year Treasury Rate after the last May auction each school year. [For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, loan interest rates will be set after the May…

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Chart: The Rising Cost of College in the U.S.

Paying for College: Risk Versus Reward

The 1200% increase in college tuition over the last four decades, outpacing inflation by nearly 1000%, is Reason Number One parents often anxiously ask me about how their kid can apply for scholarships. As the conversation unfolds, many often also reveal having saved some for their children’s college expenses, though the amount is woefully inadequate, and are now looking for…

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Comedy: Online Learning College Tuition Increasing, LA Times

College Tuition Increase = College Value Decrease?

For many higher education institutions, like the University of California (UC), the fiscal losses are growing as the health emergency extends, precipitating the need for a tuition increase. As reported in a December 12 Los Angeles Times article:  Systemwide, UC took a $2.7-billion financial hit between March and October — about 6.5% of its $41.6-billion operating budget, mainly from lost…

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Income Inequality Continues to Expand

The difficulties for those in the younger generations to generate wealth are consequences of a structural shift in the U.S. economy in the last forty years, well before today’s late Boomer and Gen X parents entered the labor market as twenty-somethings. As highlighted in a recent Federal Reserve Bank research paper, “Market Power, Inequality, and Financial Instability”, Isabel Cairo &…

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The American Dream in Trouble

The costs of childcare and college have outpaced wage increases in the past 20 years. So, a growing percentage of a family’s budget is spent caring for children, including paying for educational opportunities, like extracurricular activities as well as college tuition, in hopes of propelling kids toward a sustainable economic prosperity. Yet, as more of the family income is spent…

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The Shrinking Middle Class, Part 6

The middle class, and those aspiring to the middle class, families are incurring ever increasing amounts of debt to pay for consistently rising costs of attending college which many believe essential to achieve economic prosperity.  Subsequently, to compensate for stagnating academic achievement in order to compete for college admissions, middle class parents are spending on education related experiences, more commonly…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 5

Caption: Jen Grantham/Getty Images/iStockphoto Although the causes behind the shrinking of the American middle class are complicated, the interdependent, economic relationship with the modern American educational industrial complex is not in doubt.  As academic achievements plateau at the average, middle class families are spending more funds to supplement educational experiences, like extracurricular activities. Additionally, greater middle class wealth is spent…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 4

The American middle class is shrinking, as educational achievement plateaus at the average level of attainment and more middle class families compensate the lagging educational achievement with discretionary spending on extracurricular activities and supplemental academic support services.  By the late 1970’s, the collapse of American manufacturing sector made way for the meteoric rise of the knowledge-based service and technology sectors,…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 3

The American middle class is shrinking in comparison to nations around the world. Yesterday, I proffered the view that those Americans wishing to sustain or aspiring to achieve a middle class standard of living may not be obtaining the academic preparation necessary, especially as indicated by their average performance on international educational assessments. Yet, their middling academic attainment does not…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 2

Like I posited a few days ago, “Why is the American middle class shrinking?” Firstly, it can be argued that personal success, whether economic or humanistic, requires the acquisition of knowledge and the application of such knowledge. However, rote memorization and regurgitation on cue, skills necessary to compete in the modern American academic meritocracy, yet often devoid of higher order…

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Is The Golden Ticket Tarnished?

In the current economic backdrop, where the median view of economists predict a near 5% year over year decline in GDP (total amount of goods and services produced in the American economy) for 2020 (officially a recession), where both initial and continuing unemployment claims stubbornly loom above their longer run average, and though the economy seems to have bottomed, a…

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