The Cost of Attending an In-state Public University Has Risen 77% since 2005, Yet Wages Have Only Risen 24%.

The Social Security Administration’s numbers are out for 2015 median wages and the good news is that Americans are making more money now than ever before – $48,099. Since the end of 2005, wages have risen about 24%, just outpacing the rate of inflation.

On the other hand, fees related only to tuition and room & board for in-state public university student have gone up 77% since the end of 2005 to a staggering $20,092. Perhaps this is a result of a total increase in student loan debt of around $800 billion in the same span of time. Easier access to student loans give universities incentive to raise prices, which can be beneficial to administrators and some professors who have likely seen their incomes rise, but at the expense of students from middle-class families and recent graduates.

While the average college graduate will end up about $200,000 ahead of a non-college graduate when student loan debt and income are taken into account, some blue collar trades have average wages far beyond what some majors offer. These trades have also seen faster growth in certain service sectors.

With 20.5 million students expected to enroll in college this year, a modest increase for last year, both the total student loan debt of the U.S. as well as the rising costs of going to school show no signs of slowing down.

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