Thursday, October 23, 2008

How out of whack are college tuition costs? 

Imagine how much a college student would have to be paid per hour, in order to pay off a semester's worth of tuition by working just 200 hours.

In the book I just finished, former President Ford recalls a few of the economic factoids from his college years:

In 1931, he was paid 50 cents an hour to work a couple hours a day at an Ann Arbor hospital cafeteria.

He paid 4 dollars a week to share a boarding house with several other guys.

And his college tuition at the University of Michigan cost $100 per semester.

I went to the government's inflation calculator to put these numbers into perspective.

So in order to match Jerry Ford's ability to work off a semester's tuition in 200 hours, Johnny or Jane Student would have to make $82.67 an hour clearing tables at the hospital cafeteria.

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