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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

UPDATE: The implications of higher debt without completing higher education

Observation:  Two weeks ago, I posted a story about the higher debt load required of people who pursue higher education (click here to see “An Educated Risk.”)   Today’s Washington Post considers that issue from another perspective:  People who pursue but do not complete their higher education; ultimately, the problem of having huge debt is compounded by the fact that they do not have the degree that could lead to a higher-paying job.  Click here to see the Post story.

Implications:   One must wonder whether we are approaching a tipping point, of sorts; one that imposes adjustments to the way college educations are sought, delivered, and paid for. 

This may not seem like a consumer-trend issue, at first glance, but I think it definitely is one.  For decades (perhaps centuries), there has been a close correlation between education and future earning power.  If an economy is such that less educated people are likely to earn less money, a fundamental shift in consumption is likely to occur if large numbers of people decide college is either financially out-of-reach, or not worth the risk.   

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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