A new Pew report out today confirms that, yes, having a college degree does have some benefit: young people with college degrees did much better during the recent recession than their peers without college degrees. (One would hope!) Expect your local college to immediately begin leafletting the town with this report, as a marketing effort.
Because the other report about colleges out today comes from Moody's, and it's all about how U.S. colleges as a whole are losing their ability to charge ever vaster sums of money every year for their dose of Fully Credentialed Educatione Magicke. From the WSJ:
For the fiscal year, which for most schools ends this June, 18% of 165 private universities and 15% of 127 public universities project a decline in net tuition revenue [tuition minus scholarships and aid]. That is a sharp rise from the estimated declines among 10% of the 152 private schools and 4% of the 105 public schools in fiscal 2012.
Honestly, considering the severity of the recession we've just come through and the widespread realization among young people and their debt-wracked parents alike that student loans can ruin your life just as easily as pave the path to prosperity, a drop in revenue among less than a fifth of schools does not seem so bad. If colleges are too expensive for most people to afford, they must bring their prices down or perish. If they must bring their prices down, cuts must be made. A mere drop in income for colleges is not necessarily evidence of something bad going on. It ain't the end of the world.
It would be nice if they would cut the solid-gold toilet seats in the football team locker room rather than the adjunct professor's minimum wage salaries, but you can't have it all.