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2013年11月5日 星期二

雙語導讀:美國人越來越覺得讀大學沒用

 As the price of higher education continues to rise through a shaky economic recovery, fewer Americans are considering college a good investment, especially compared to other needs for savings.

In a survey of 3,000 people, 63.5% said a college education is still a good financial investment for young adults given rising costs, compared to 79.1% last year and 80.9% in 2008. The declining sentiment is reflected across all age groups - 63.5% of those aged 18-29 said college is a good investment, compared to 76.7% last year. Just 61.5% of those over 65 years old said it is a good investment - 82.1% said the same in 2009.

A separate study released last month by Payscale, an online salary and compensation information company, ranked 852 institutions across the country by the colleges' returns on investment over 30 years.

The July priorities survey, released Tuesday by financial services group COUNTRY Financial, shows a shift in saving priorities through an uncertain economy.

Most Americans - 42.8% - said this year that saving for their own retirement was more important than saving for their child's college education, indicating an increase from last year's 40.7%. Consequently, the proportion of those who prioritized saving for their child's education decreased - to 40.7% this year from 47% last year. This year, 16.5% said they were not sure, marking the greatest uncertainty over the last four years.

'It's understandable why Americans are questioning how to prioritize college education and retirement funding, particularly with the skyrocketing costs in both areas. But with graduates likely to earn $1 million more in their lifetime than non-grads, college remains an important investment in a family's future despite the rising price tag,' said Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. 'The good news, however, is that people are putting their retirement savings first. You can always borrow to pay for college, but you can't borrow for retirement. With the proper planning, Americans can achieve their financial goals for both.'

This year's proportion of those who prioritize retirement savings, however, is in line with the 43% surveyed in 2007. There was least uncertainty in 2008, and 47.1% prioritized saving for their own retirement, the greatest proportion over the last four years.

Whereas those in the lower-income bracket tended to save for their child's education over their own retirement - 53.2% versus 23.8% for people making less than $20,000 - those on the other end who make more than $100,000 a year erred toward prioritizing retirement savings - 38% said saving for their child's education was more important, 52.5% prioritized retirement.

Almost 31% of those surveyed took out loans to pay for college, and 64.3% of those who borrowed have paid them off. Of those who took out loans, about half said their loans had little to no impact on life decisions like getting married, buying a home or saving for retirement.

But younger respondents reflected greater loan burdens. Of the 18-29 year-olds who took out loans, 40% said education loans have significantly impacted their life decisions, 37.7% have been somewhat impacted, and 14.4% have been affected, but not much. Just 7.9% said loans have not affected their decisions at all.

Younger Americans, however, were also most likely to say parents shouldn't have to pay for any college costs for their children. Of those ages 18-29, 15.2% said students should be the ones to pay for their own education. Across all age groups, more than half of the respondents said parents and children should share higher education costs.

在經濟復蘇緩慢的背景下,高等教育的價格仍然呈上漲趨勢,越來越多的美國人認為大學並不是一個好的投資,尤其相對於其他儲蓄的需求來說更是如此。

在一個針對 3,000 人的調查中,63.5% 受訪者認為,雖然大學教育費用上漲,但是對年輕人來說仍是好的金融投資,去年和 2008 年持此意見的受訪者百分比分別為 79.1% 和 80.9%。百分比下降的趨勢在各個年齡群都有體現──18 到 29 歲的受訪者有 63.5% 認為大學是好的投資,去年為 76.7%。而 65 歲以上的受訪者只有 61.5% 認為大學是好的投資,2009 年持相同意見者則占 82.1%

網上薪酬調查公司 Payscale 上月發佈了一個研究報告,將美國 852 家大學按照過去 30 年內的投資回報進行排序。

金融服務機構 COUNTRY Financial 週二發佈的七月儲蓄優先順序調查(July priorities survey)顯示,在經濟前景不明朗的環境下,人們的儲蓄選擇的優先順序發生了變化。

大多數美國人(占 42.8%)表示,今年退休儲蓄比孩子的大學教育儲蓄重要,相比去年的 40.7% 有所增加。同時,以孩子教育儲蓄為先的比例就下降了,從去年的 47% 降至今年的 40.7%。今年,16.5% 的人持不確定的態度,是過去四年來比例最大的一年。

美國人對於如何安排大學教育和退休儲蓄的疑惑是可以理解的,尤其當兩部分的費用都在迅速增長。但是大學畢業生一生中比非畢業生能多賺 100 萬美元,從這點來看,雖然費用上漲,大學對於一個家庭的未來依然是很重要的投資。”COUNTRY Financial 金融安全計畫副總裁布萊南(Keith Brannan)說,但是好消息是,人們正把退休儲蓄放在首位。你可以為大學借錢,而不能為退休借錢。有了合理的計畫,美國人可以兼顧兩者。

今年把退休儲蓄放在首位的人數比例與 2007 年的 43% 一致。2008 年,持不確定態度的人數比例最少,47.1% 將退休儲蓄放在首位,是過去四年來比例最大的一年。

然而,低收入人群更傾向于為孩子的教育儲蓄,年收入在2萬美元以下的人群有 53.2% 將教育儲蓄放在首位,23.8%將退休儲蓄放在首位。而高收入人群,也就是年收入10萬美元以上的人群則相反,38% 認為孩子的教育儲蓄更重要,而 52.5% 將退休儲蓄放在首位。

大約 31% 的受訪者靠借貸支付大學費用,64.3% 的借貸者已還清借款。半數的借貸者表示他們的貸款對結婚、買房或退休儲蓄等生活決策有很少或沒有影響。

但是較年輕的受訪者似乎承擔著更大的貸款負擔。借貸者中1829歲的受訪者有 40% 表示教育貸款對他們的生活決策有很大影響,37.7% 表示有一些影響,14.4% 表示有影響但不大。只有 7.9% 表示貸款對他們的生活決策毫無影響。

然而,較年輕的美國人也表示父母不該為孩子支付大學費用。18 到 29 歲的受訪者中,15.2% 表示學生應該自己支付教育費用。所有受訪者中有多半人表示父母和孩子應分擔高等教育費用。
                                                                                              源自《華爾街日報》

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