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Why College Is So Expensive In America

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College in the United States is expensive. The cost of higher education just keeps going up. Tuition costs at both public and private universities have doubled since the late 80s, while accounting for inflation. "I think that it's so ingrained in your head that you have to go to college, that college is the next step after graduation," said Jarret Freeman, a college graduate with roughly $50,000 in student debt. "I think in hindsight, I see that college is not for everyone." But a college education is becoming more and more necessary to succeed in today's economy. Georgetown University estimates that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require more than a high school degree. Students graduate with an average of $37,172 in student loan debt. It all adds up to $1.5 trillion across the country. Watch the video above to learn how higher education became big business, hear from former students facing mounting debt and explore why it's so important to solve the student debt crisis.» Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC Why College Is So Expensive In America
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Text Comments (12371)
CNBC (5 months ago)
Tell us your student loan story:
OrtenCharizard (2 days ago)
I get paid to go to college I live in sweden btw
jin zukinoha (21 days ago)
I paid $50K off in 2 months. It called get a J.O.B while in college :) save and invest.
Xtinct- Josh (1 month ago)
My mom told me to go to the Philippines cuz it’s cheaper.
heather barnes (1 month ago)
I'm currently going to a for-profit school and I wish it were cheaper but the school I chose was local and they do have students in mind. I wish that federal loans would get rid of interest. I have 50,000 dollars worth from 3 schools one of which is out of business. Now I'm going for my bachelors which will add 10-15 thousand.
Hasmeen C. (2 months ago)
I wasn't going to attend college or university unless I could afford it, happily I received a 2 year scholarship after graduating high school, got my associates degree and Transfer to an outer state university received another scholarship and ended up paying 75%-85% less each semester for 2 1/2 years than any university here where I live, graduated with a bachelor's debt free. Now looking into getting a masters, knowing scholarships won't help and I will only had to afford it or ask for a loan.... Iam thinking it would be much better to invest the loan on running my own business than getting a masters degree.
Magnus Hodge (22 hours ago)
Lutherangrants org helped me financially .They sent me a grant of $40,000 for my business funding.
videxvid (1 day ago)
Every college student, current and former, should see this! www.videogreeting.net/azon.htm
Irving Johnson (1 day ago)
A college asking $6,000 a year with 6,000 students equals $36 Million a year! It is $72 Million in two years and $1.44 Billion in four years. They don't need to raise student prices. They need to lower them!
Terry Baker (1 day ago)
The only conclusion I can come to is don't go to college
Ilipan (1 day ago)
0:55 macbook pro was a smart buy, lol
Robin L (2 days ago)
And here i am, complaining about the price of my textbooks, while not having to pay anything for my college. And sure, i pay more in income tax than someone with the same job and education living in the U.S. But even when paying more in income tax, i still get more money per month than my U.S counterpart
James Smith (2 days ago)
GI Bill = free tuition + books
Sagar Patel (2 days ago)
0:56.... has a $1,500 macbook
Trippy LongStockin93 (3 days ago)
Cuz they are greedy 🙄uh that's about it
Erik Weinstein (3 days ago)
I would reduce the amount of people by half.
No Soy Hater No Soy Hater (3 days ago)
Ok but can you as a "news outlet" try and not use misleading tittles?
jvolstad (3 days ago)
Join the military. Great educational benefits.
Charles Warren (3 days ago)
Do what I did: I worked when I was in college. I took out loans, and I paid them off.
Alex (3 days ago)
Dominican Republic has a virtually free college AND ITS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!!
OhHey I'mJulez (3 days ago)
If the government better funded colleges, tuition costs wouldnt be so high. And if student loans could have a credit system and be dependent on performance in school, loans could be paid off easier for those who have the performance to gain forgiveness loans.
Daniel Black (3 days ago)
This is such a pointless video. I clicked expecting it to give me a scientific analysis of the costs, explaining each and every one of them in a clear, structured form. This is how people generally explain the "why" of an issue. However, what I got wasn't a "why" but a "what." I got a video completely focused on 3 people on only one side of the spectrum. There are people (like me) who graduate from college and get a high paying job. They live on a smaller amount of money for a year or two while they pay the debt off, and then move on. These people got a positive return on attending college, and in a video that starts with "Is college worth it?" this is completely unacceptable. This video is an account of 3 people in very narrow circumstances and is obviously siding with the democratic party on this issue. I'm not particularly against democrats, but this video could be made much better. It could've much more reflective of general audiences and much less political with it.
Pritish Devassy (3 days ago)
Avoid CNBC videos. They just beat around the bush and don't even tell you the key takeaways. I have found Vox videos to be outstanding
The Last (4 days ago)
An American citizen pays about 1/3 of actual tuition costs. That was the plan. Our politicians state and federal have slowly cut the amount they pay hence increasing the students load. Look at which members in said political leaves have done this. Liberals! Do a little research! Bahhhhh! SHEEP!
Azay Deelay (4 days ago)
It's expensive because of greed. I am an AMERICAN and live in Europe. Here everyone has access to FREE education and EUROPE is not anymore richer nor poorer than the USA. GERMANY has education which is FREE for everyone. You could be from any country in the world and move to Germany and go to school for FREE. Shame on the United States of America. And no...we are not the greatest nation in the world. Not when you cannot give an education to your masses.
Eddie Gonzalez (5 days ago)
Study in Puerto Rico, it's cheap!
Victor Popov (5 days ago)
You think thats bad ? Here in germany they make you pay 12$ for parking for half year in my college, they think we are millionaires. Unless you have a bike or you go on foot you wont be able to survive in here.
adhith t ESD (5 days ago)
While in India even a billionaire's child can't get into top colleges
S.Nicole (6 days ago)
I’m going to college for a degree, ofc I want to have the college experience but, I look into the future. I chose a college that I wouldn’t have to take out loans for. A small liberal arts college 40 minutes away from me. I’m saving up for the next step in my life which will be grad school, specifically PA school, which totals near $100,000 including all of the supplies I’ll need.
Indian Google channel (6 days ago)
I love this video plz make more
B K (6 days ago)
1st -the system was built for a need for a degree that might not need a degree 2nd- the military pays for college degrees- nice but hurts the system 3rd- Cost of living and weakness in Dollar valuation
pankaj chopra (6 days ago)
Guys you can get quality education in foreign countries. For example, you can complete Business Masters of 2 years in India with stay and food for around 20-25k dollars . Why give 3-4 times in US and if you work part time, you may end up paying $15k
Tiasa Tilak (3 days ago)
India is wayyyy better than the US. Almost all of our higher education in any field is payed for by the govt. You just have to be a good student and competitive enough to get into a public institution.
Brittny Hawk (6 days ago)
Im glad I never went. I see that there so many people with degrees. I make good living working. I dont owe a dime.
darrin moore (6 days ago)
Why was the false equivalence of the college keeping women and black people out when the truth was it was government laws that did it ?
Youness ID BAKKASSE (7 days ago)
*I have a scolarship I cant relate...*
Mohame Farah (7 days ago)
Being broke nd that debt will make you think ...nd it could be a reason..why u may succeed...change u mentally nd see it as opportunity...instead of burden nd stop crying....peace!!!
gus4gus (7 days ago)
Why is college tuition so expensive? Two words: predatorial lending. There, I have said it, so you won't have to watch the video.
Simon (7 days ago)
I‘m German. Sorry, can’t relate
Aamir Khan (8 days ago)
Education & health in america are expensive cuz America has become a corporation now, not a country anymore 17 trillion economy yet unable to provide free health & education to just 350 million people???? 🙄🙄🙄🔫🔫
Stephanie Lovat (8 days ago)
Why are colleges expensive? You are paying for the name and property. Like payless shoes vs Gucci vs Alexander McQueen. They all do the same job. Shoe=helps you walk. But because of the name and design you have to pay more. You dont pay for college education but the college itself. The building, the name, the pools the gyms, parking lots, events etc. That's the laymens term of ONE of the reasons why education in the USA is expensive.
stilldownwiththemutantunderground (8 days ago)
"If there's no cost associated with education, it's going to be taken for granted." Proof that just because you went to college, that doesn't make you intelligent. Sincerely, A Swede who spent 5 years in college and no money on tuition
george fra (9 days ago)
Let me do it quick for yall: The government made it easy to get student loans, and the Colleges simply raised the tution prices (by alot)
Charlie Schön (9 days ago)
Apply for university in Europe! Studying abroad is a great experience and you'll save a lot of money :)
B T (9 days ago)
It's not as simple as saying *"reducing college fees will increase taxes"* The govt can spend a bit less on other fields like defence to cover a huge portion of the college costs. Also, it can instruct colleges to distribute less of its earnings to trust funds and instead focus on reinvesting it in fee waivers and scholarships.
batpatman 2 (2 days ago)
Or you can just cut welfare programs lol
jennings mills (9 days ago)
Education is information. You can fit the Library of Congress on a 10 terabyte hard drive. So why does access to the information required to obtain a degree cost $50k? College system wasn't designed to educate. it's purpose is to keep the Riff Raff from competing with the elite economically. Elite buys degrees Riff Raff's go broke trying to obtain degrees.
McLean Blades (10 days ago)
It's been 10 years since I lived a few blocks from the AI Institute in San Francisco - but the majority of students there are foreign nationals - mostly from Taiwan. And in SF - the university has a lot of real estate assets - and that makes the University a prime target for lawsuits where government is always looking for buildings to house the homeless.
McLean Blades (10 days ago)
Look at what happened to Beautiful Hastings Law School. Since the university moved the buildings are all converted to support for homeless. And the neighborhood looks so much worse - it's shocking. It's slum worse than 6th street just three blocks away from City Hall.
Eve Moore (10 days ago)
I have $0 in student debt due to my dad’s military benefits, thx daddy
Will Ganness (10 days ago)
Stop lending that amount to students. The colleges know they could saddle the kids with the debt beause the government lends them the money. Its a scam
Justin Nixon (11 days ago)
Just for institutional fee is $5,000 at the University that I am going to.
ailblentyn (11 days ago)
What exactly does "America's first college" mean? The U.S. didn't exist when Harvard was founded, and Harvard sure wasn't the first university in the Americas.
Madson Costa (11 days ago)
Everyone in the world but America has free higher education
SJM (9 days ago)
Madson Costa the uk doesn’t have free HE. An standard fee for an undergraduate degree at a university is £9,250pa. Maintenance can be roughly the same again.
DFDalton1962 (11 days ago)
This report focuses on some horror stories of some kids fresh out of school with ill-chosen degrees and/or personal problems that make them unemployable. But the vast majority of college graduates earn far more with their degrees over their lifetime - a million dollars or more on average - than they could without a degree, even factoring in loan repayments. Of course it's tough at the beginning, but it is for everyone. I don't think it's right to have people who never went to college subsidize a college education for someone else. Why should someone with a double-digit IQ who is probably never going to do better than working in a factory for $20/hr (or less) his entire life pay for the education of an engineer or a lawyer? It just isn't fair.
eBenkyou (11 days ago)
If it's expensive then education is a complete waste of money...especially now with the internet. I've managed to accomplish and build more with a 2 year diploma from trades school (which I never ever really used) than most of my friends who have finished 4 years of uni and then some. You need character, make use of the internet, be smart, work hard, and give it your all and don't complain. Opportunities rarely come to you...you have to find them and seize them...you just never know what's out there and always be ready for change...;)
Jon Does (11 days ago)
Meanwhile industry has a shortage of mechanics, electricians, millwrights & pipe fitters. I know many and they’re all making $100k plus per year.
Robert Waterman (11 days ago)
If you join the military it's free, if you dont think you have to get a degree in something ridiculous it's cheap if you dont think you have to go to Harvard, in truth the education at a community college is just as good as Harvard.
Sir Axel (11 days ago)
1.Go to community college for the first two years, and then transfer to your desired University. 2. While in community college, do some intense research on financial aid programs offered by your university. (Luckily for me, my University offers free tuition for low-income students). 3. Meet with an academic advisor at the University before hand ( I highly suggest meeting with them during your first year and the fall portion of your second year). 4. Network, talk to businesses about your career goals and mention any hardships. 5. Good luck with your academic endeavors! Edit: After two stressful years, I am transferring to my desired University with free tuition, books,room, all payed for (for the next two years).
Rob Clark (11 days ago)
At least for public institutions, the federal and state governments need to fully fund them so they aren't exorbitantly expensive. If you attend, work hard, and get good grades, college at public institutions should be free or very low cost.
I love bacon (12 days ago)
College also forces you to take unnecessary classes.
ratliff2006 (12 days ago)
She owed 6k to the school because they advanced her the loan payment for the semester and then by withdrawing the university had to repay her loan to the government. "Mental Health Issue"... should have used the university's mental health counseling department instead of running back home to the fridge.
Allen Sillins (12 days ago)
They get out of college with worthless degrees that they can't get a job. They trick these young people into taking big loans they get out and can't get a job. It's not worth it. The trades and technician jobs earn good money but no one is going there. There are great opportunities there. Very few college degrees teach how to make money. A waste they get these young people economically broke they get out and find they have no future. Science math are good. Go thru a college catalog. Many many worthless majors business good science good math good prelate pre med ok. Anthropology no good
Tyler Durden (12 days ago)
College is so expensive because *BANKS* got into student loans once the government decided to guarantee the loans. The BANKS get rich, at the expense of students who never should have been given the loans in the first place. Once the loans were readily available, the colleges started raising tuition at rates that were many times that of inflation! Go back to the way things were prior to the government subsidized debt slavery model of college education... *MAKE THE COLLEGES ARRANGE 100% OF THE LOANS FOR THE STUDENTS THAT NEED FINANCIAL AID!!!* Many schools have multibillion dollar foundations. Hell, Harvard & Yale should never need to ask for a dime in tuition ever again. Their foundations can spin off 5 times the total amount they collect every year in tuition, yet Harvard is still one of the most expensive schools in America. Current student loan situation can be amelioriated by allowing student loans to be absolved in chapter 7 bankruptcy. Of course there would be more bankruptcies than ever before in American history, but the student debt crisis would be resolved. If you also require that banks originating student loans are unable to sell off those debts unless the BANK declares bankruptcy, that will stop the practice of making student loans to anyone who asks, regardless of their ability to repay.
Tyler Durden (11 days ago)
@Rob Clark I still make my friends laugh when I refer to it as "Thieves Of America Bank" instead of "Bank of America"
Rob Clark (11 days ago)
Very true about the rise in tuition rates. I went to the same college my mother did back in the late 1960's. It cost her $80 per semester at that time. I attended before joined the military in the mid-1990's. It was $750 per semester for 10+ hours at that time. I returned to finish in 2015 and the cost was around $6000 per semester. Each credit hour was charge. No flat rate for 10+ hours like in was 20 years ago. If tuition had kept along with inflation, my final years of education would have cost $540 if compared to when my mother went and $1230 compared to when I attended before the military. Yes, banks are the problem as they are with anything else. Institutions of usury is what they should really be called.
Canadian Pride (12 days ago)
The Asian guy sounds a lot like Seth Rogan
Korasones (12 days ago)
It's very Basic even without a College Degree you can figure it out, Basically, It's A Business and College's are getting Greedy there a Demand and they know that Govt is Going to Guarantee College Loans for Student and at the end it's going to increase cost because colleges are going to increase Tuition because it' Guaranteed Income coming from Uncle Sam and they are taking Advantage of the System, also some of this College make you take other classes that you really don't need anything that says Studies and guess what everyone pays for it's an add on the Ice cream...Money....
Rafaela C. (12 days ago)
Isn't college expensive everywhere?
Krillin (12 days ago)
I am proud to say i never went to college.
Aristote Kalenda (11 days ago)
what do you do tho
Tom Varrette (13 days ago)
You sure it has NOTHING to do with ALL THE USELESS staff (especially the ones teaching liberal arts and other degrees that HAVE NO PRACTICAL USE IN THE WORLD)
Tom Varrette (13 days ago)
and the RIDICULOUS salaries those USELESS staff get paid?
Liberty Tree (13 days ago)
Why is college so expansive? Democraps. Why are young people getting degrees in worthlessness? Democraps. Seventy percent of all college students are women so why are they still receiving affirmative action and preferences for admission. Discrimination and sexism towards men of all races... So "China" is getting a degree in "art"? She's going to disappointed when she gets a low paying job.
Eu ge (13 days ago)
I got my masters last week here in Argentina and all though my 6 years the only thing I had to pay for was less than a dolar for a photocopy to enroll, so gladI was born in a country with free quality education for all
culturefreedom89 (13 days ago)
And this is how the US government created the white middle class through the GI Bill.
Wassam Bin Israr (13 days ago)
Why is it costly when all you need is a block board and a teacher
Kalevia Law (13 days ago)
College should be free not put people in debt
Darth Digital (13 days ago)
To me, the narrator sounds like an unprofessional airhead.
LiqurMeUp (14 days ago)
Let's interview more black woman please.
SRQ Beach Girl (14 days ago)
No one makes you take out a student loan you do it because you want to. What happened to the days when people worked their way through college? I think you really appreciate it then. Contrary to popular belief today, no one owes you a college education
reGeNeRaTe X (14 days ago)
What they don't tell you here: exhorbant administrative salaries, window-dressing activities like numerous fundraiser events, and for some, uneven amounts of cash spent on sports departments.
Twin Mommy (13 days ago)
And useless diversity and "studies" departments.
Dan D (14 days ago)
Elite Wall street bankers along with their politician friends set the policies to profit handsomely by ripping you off.
Yashdeep Dubey (14 days ago)
I study in tier 1 college in india having fees less than 500$ a year, it is even less than my high school fees of 700$.
Damian Murphy-Morris (14 days ago)
The cost should be the time you put into it not an entire decade based on one poor decision
Aquarius (14 days ago)
DO NOT let this video dissuade you from going to college. Go. Just be smart about it. Don't go to a for profit. Apply to schools you can afford. Look for merit and need based scholarships. Look for schools with big endowments and generous financial aid offices. It not that hard
Aquarius (14 days ago)
If you start a program, FINISH IT. One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make is to start a program and then just drop out. Now you can't get a job and you're stuck with this big loan
Cyle Hendricks (14 days ago)
Why in the hell would you spend $70k on a math and economics degree????
Aquarius (14 days ago)
For profit schools are SCAMS. Don't be stupid y'all
Darnell Jones (14 days ago)
I don’t see how one of most important things in America is not paid for by the government or near paid for so more people can be able to go through college without worrying about expenses . The More educated people are , the better the economy can be . In my opinion
Darnell Jones (13 days ago)
Twin Mommy well I wouldn’t say free. But at least lower the cost. Most people go to college so they can be better in the future . High school is free and people work hard for it to go to certain colleges. That’s why requirements are in certain colleges . So the line “ they don’t work hard for it” can not be seen in most students that wanna go to college and DO go to college . What would be the answer then to solve this problem ? Because having college grads in debt with a growing economy doesn’t go together at all . That’s just makin it worse
Twin Mommy (13 days ago)
Your definition of educated is flawed. Use to be that high school diplomas were worth something...kids got a better education than they do now. Liberals took over the k-12 schools and destroyed that. Now they control universities, too, and those degrees are being seen as useless...not only in content (i.e. gender studies) but also in pushing through more students by lowering success criteria. More free school is not the answer. People do not appreciate what is free. They do not work hard for it and when it is free, you tend to get what you pay for...a bunch more people with degrees no one needs many of whom didn't learn much from the process.
Big L (14 days ago)
jarret got it backwards,that's good advice as far as money, [job and spending] not an education,thats counter productive
Colyn Itona (15 days ago)
You know what??? To solve your problems of not being able to go to college because of debts and being so expensive, please go to the Philippines. Every Filipino here knows how to speak English, and you will be given quality education in college and it is very much cheaper... So you don't have to burden yourself with that much of tuition fees because Philippines can help you with that. Hey I'm not endorsing my country, that is a fact!
Brian Mathes (15 days ago)
When you sign the bottom of the "Loan Agreement" you obligate yourself to pay it back... There are many ways to defray the cost of an education (Military, Work/Study, Actual Employment, and Pay as you go)...Only borrow what you are prepared to pay back (Only use that loan to pay for legit educational expenses)...Not much sympathy from the myriads of us who have paid our loans off...What's next Car Loan forgiveness ?....Home Mortgage forgiveness ?............Peace
Francisco David (15 days ago)
The argument that guy gave for not supporting free education is quite incoherent. In Brazil public university is "free" (mostly funded by people's taxes) and they are the most competitive and best quality institutions of higher education. Every young student would do anything to have quality education for free.
kevin couture (15 days ago)
Because just like religion, it a business
Rocío& Tanito (15 days ago)
Also why be a slave to the system? At the end when you finish paying your studdent loans at 40s 50s then shortly after retire to Not get Medicaid because you own a house...lame
Rocío& Tanito (15 days ago)
Community college is free here in texas...for the brokes... My family is middle class cause obviously they work hard and unfortunately it not free for me
anti China communist party (15 days ago)
I think the key thing is that why do you need to study if you want to find meaning in life you could read books classical philosophy if you want to earn money then think about how to earn money you could learn programming and finance economic by your self the issue with the idea of education is that it thinks that you need a amount of resource for instance college to do a job but the key to achieving is to use wisdom to solve problems and not to wait until the resource is ready so instead of trying to get knowledged and rich by going to college think about how to achieve objectives with your wisdom when resource is inadequate.
Elisheva bat Chanah (15 days ago)
Let businesses administer IQ tests and the need for a four-year degree to get an entry-level office job would go away.
The Pagemaster (15 days ago)
How about if you can’t afford it, don’t go...OR join the military
As Yuki (15 days ago)
our education system is trash but at least we don't pay a cent for it, though our taxes are pretty high
Тарас Ломакин (16 days ago)
5:14 it is a Kyiv Polytechnic University Ukraine =)
Sai (16 days ago)
US- calls itself the greatest country in the world. A American friend online when I say I'm going to university now :- *surprised Pikachu face* and tells me I'm a rich dude. I don't remember being rich when my family couldn't afford meals so we eat two times a day , 3 times if we are lucky. It's me who should be surprised that many of you guys don't go to college, much less a university
mr_godman (16 days ago)
For foreigners, we need a college degree to enter most countries including the US as only a high school graduate living in Uganda, I have no hope of ever leaving my current position as without a college degree i am stuck where i am college degress offer so much, but the debt that they come with is a pain
mr_godman (16 days ago)
harvard is god i love u harvard and pls accept me
Param (16 days ago)
well in India, the college where i'm going to study this year the tuition fees is $1500 a semester.
Param (16 days ago)
tremer 2009 (16 days ago)
Thanks CSNBC NEWS.😊 Fine but y'all never even tried to answer the Question, y'all just told us to pay back the lenders. Screw the lenders?😁
ScubaDaveGSXR (16 days ago)
No personal responsibility, government funding, and constant pushing from the idiots on the left. Saved you 18 minutes.
Gilian (16 days ago)
33,000 students, 1/18 faculty student ratio, roughly 1850 professors at an average of $60,000/year. "Faculty Total Cost" = $110 million per year. 1-1 Faculty-Administration ratio, 1850 administrators at an average of $200,000 per year: "Administrator Total Cost" = $370 million per year. "Total Cost (not including building and maintenance)" = $480 million per year. "Per Student Faculty Cost": $3,333/year "Per Student Administrator Cost": $11,212/year
Gilian (16 days ago)
33,000 students, 1/18 faculty student ratio, roughly 1850 professors at an average of $60,000/year. "Faculty Total Cost" = $110 million per year. 1-1 Faculty-Administration ratio, 1850 administrators at an average of $200,000 per year: "Administrator Total Cost" = $370 million per year. "Total Cost (not including building and maintenance)" = $480 million per year. "Per Student Faculty Cost": $3,333/year "Per Student Administrator Cost": $11,212/year
Via (17 days ago)
Well they saw the number before they enrolled right?