What all this suggests is that the college-degree premium may really be a no-college-degree penalty. People who don't get some kind of post-secondary education are quickly falling out of the American middle class.
The wage gap between people who have bachelor's degrees and people with only a high school diploma has nearly doubled since the early s. Instead, more than three-quarters of students attend nonselective colleges, which admit at least half of their applicants. Yet nearly the same amount of foreign-born Americans as people born in the United States have a college education.
And living away from home is expensive, with or without a lazy river. But credentials are also clearly important, as this illustration shows: Chart courtesy of Education Pays On average, earnings increase for every degree someone gets, and the jumps are particularly large when people get graduate degrees.
And on average it does. Almost all colleges and universities are coeducational.