The reality today is that most careers require a college degree — but where is the average person's income stretched too thin to cover it? A new data study from this site reveals how states across the U.S. compare. In the analysis, the average cost of in-state college (tuition, fees, room and board) in each state was compared to the average income of a person in the respective state. The results reveal the cost of college as a percentage of a person's income for every state — and it's a bit little concerning!
This study provided several shocking statistics. For one, South Carolina ranked first for providing residents with the most difficulty paying for college. It would take 45.6% of the average person's salary to cover the cost of college for a year. Following close behind are Vermont and Indiana, both landing at 45.1%. For all three of these, it would take nearly half of the average person’s earnings to pay for school. Plus, it doesn’t account for the other expenses associated with college, such as books and supplies, or basic necessities like food.
Furthermore, the regional differences are stark. Made apparent in the graphic, the states with the highest percentages tend to be in the southern region or just north of it. It appears that states in the west tend to have the best college cost to income ratio. In fact, the average result for states in the west is 30.82% of income, compared to 37.12% for states in the south. The averages in the midwest and northeast are 34.94% and 35.00%, respectively.
The college cost data was sourced from the College Board, and the median income information came from the U.S. Census. This doesn’t include external sources of funding, such as scholarships or aid.
I'm still paying off my student loans so this doesn't surprise me. I fear for the coming generations however as education costs rise.