27 January 2011

How Much Did Your Education Cost?

A bit like the Lottery of Life done by Save the Children (which I liked as a concept, but did not as a billboard campaign), Building Tomorrow has put together a similar tool which calculates the price of an American education.

Born in 1985 and attending public schools in New Jersey, my education from 1st to 7th grade, according to the tool cost $96,670. They juxtapose this with their estimated cost of $350 per "Building Tomorrow Student in Uganda." It is definitely quite striking and I know that the number jumps even further as my pre-k to kindergarten years as well as secondary through college years are added to the total.

What I would like to see is more information that explains why it cost so much for my education and then some data about the social and economic value of my education. In other words, what is the return on all that money the state of NJ has spent on me. That would require a lot more data and work, but it would probably hit home the economics and importance of such an investment.

How much was your education?*

Note: I do not know anything about Building Tomorrow, just think the tool is neat. Please leave any thoughts about the organization in the comment section if you have a familiarity with their programs. The point of the post is not to support them, but to point out a clever awareness tactic.

*Don't worry, you do not have to share your birthday.