The Fed report reveals that the income of 25 percent of all Americans with a four-year degree is roughly the same as the average for those with just a high school diploma.

Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs?

This suggests, say the authors, “that the economic benefit of a college education is relatively small for at least a quarter of those graduating with a bachelor’s degree.” They’re talking about 14 of the aforementioned 55 graduates.

Those 14 graduates, plus the 45 dropouts, mean that 59 percent of incoming public university freshman eventually fail to gain a financial upside for their investment. Just 41 percent of them “win” that bet, and the College Board says average annual tuition at the nation’s public universities is nearly $9,000 (or $36,000 for four years.) As noted, the chance of winning a lucky bet on a college football game is 50 percent, nine full percentage points higher than winning the tuition bet, but with immediate returns and no homework.

Genre pictures are a great way to give yourself limitations as an artist and provide marketers a clear target audience.  Catherine Rampell put together an interesting chart on film genre ROI (Return on Investment), pictured above.  Here’s her premise:

  • R.I.P.D. (Action) cost $130 million to make, earned $50 million globally.
  • The Purge (Horror) cost $3 million to make, earned $80 million globally.

This, along with other data, caused Forbes to speculate that “Horror films are definitely Hollywood’s best bet in terms of turning a profit.”

A few things to note:

  • Thrillers, Dramas, Musicals, and Action/Adventure films can perform very well overseas in relation to how much the gross domestically.  Celebrity attachments along with more action/less dialogue drive this.
  • Documentary and Concerts, while they look appealing, are skewed in this survey because the author only took films that made more than $2 million is box office gross.  Most docs and concert videos don’t cross this threshold; the sample set is very low.  
  • Furthermore, she admitted the documentaries in her sample set cost $2.6 million to produce on average.  I probably watch more docs than I do narrative films; I would be surprised if 15% of the films I watch cost that much in production & post.

Although the chart seems to disagree with Forbes’ statement, I’d argue that they were correct.