Going to college is a life-changing experience for most everyone, and unlike many of those experiences, the change is generally for the better. It isn’t free, though, and whether it beats other options for spending that money is a question worth considering.
That consideration begins with the fact that the U.S. spends about four times as much on college as the average of other developed countries. Because the government provides less support for college than in any other country, students and their families in the U.S. have to pay a bigger part of college costs. That adds up to seven times more than in other countries.
The U.S. also sends a very high percentage of high school grads on to college—70%, the majority of whom go to bachelor degree programs—but we have the second-worst graduation rate of any of our peer countries: Only 40% of full-time students graduate in four…
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