The Cost of Higher Education in the US

by Rohan Fray

This project was completed as part of CUNY IS608's curriculum. To see other projects, please click here for the homepage.

The Degree data shows, for the first chart, that while both genders are each getting more degrees, the growth rate for females is staggering when looking at males. Surprisingly, the amount of degrees that males earned in 2009, for almost all the degree types, is not that much more than the amount earned in the 1970s. This is in comparison to the amount of degrees that females earned in 2009, which for all degree types is much more than the amount earned in the 1970s. If these trends continue with female degree holders outnumbering males, it could radically change the male-dominated business and professional world of today. With women only making up ~14 percent of Fortune 500 Executive Officer positions in 2013, this number would increase as the talent pool is made up of more females.

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We see that as Female Degree holders are on a steady increase throughout the years for all degree types, for Males some degree types have either remained the same or have not grown as quickly as Females. Very interesting is the dip in amount of degrees earned for males in almost all degree types around 1980-1990.

Now we take a look at some finances of higher education

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With respect to the second chart, the first thing you would notice is the massive spike in Federal direct student loans from the early 2000s to 2011. This is followed by a normal increasing Private financial support as well as professor salaries and tuition. Remarkably, regardless of economic conditions or the switch of male to female dominated student bodies, salaries and tuition has increased steadily over the decades. There is not even one dip at all. Each year is more than the previous. The trend suggests not only that tuition and salaries will forever increase but that there has been nothing over the years that has stop them from their rise.

To obtain links to the data sources for this project and a write-up of conclusions, please visit the project write-up.