Top 5 Most Expensive College Majors
Apply for a Loan
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Feb 8, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident loan decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one loan provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about loans. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything loan related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
Any parent with a college-aged student knows that the rising cost of tuition isn’t slowing down. Fortunately, not all majors are as expensive as others. Since the cost of declaring for a major and taking the required classes can vary from affordable to expensive, it is important to review and discuss different majors before declaring for one. Expensive college majors require more money, which usually necessitates borrowing more college loans as far as cash-strapped parents and students are concerned.
According to a 2011 Cornell study, the number of universities and colleges which charge different levels of tuition depending on a student’s chosen major is on the rise. As more and more learning institutions charge higher tuition in general, and as the job market adjusts in the wake of the ongoing “Information Age,” it will soon become very clear to young graduates just how expensive their college major choice will be.
To help out young students and borrowers, here is a list of the top 5 most expensive college majors based off a study by Georgetown University.
While television may enjoy showing wealthy tweed-jacketed psychologists giving therapy to clients reclining on expensive leather couches in posh private offices, the truth is that the median annual income for Psychology degree holders and Counselors is at $29,000. This is especially worrying since the average level of college loan debt for a related degree hovers at $27,000. This would make repaying a Psychology or Counseling degree especially difficult, particularly when one factors in compounding interest payments.
2. Early Childhood Education
Educators, the longtime nurturers of the nation’s children, come in second place. They have a median income of $36,000. This should come as no shock since teachers have long been underpaid. It seems that the same goes for those educators of young children. While it is debatable whether teachers should be paid more, budget cuts across many states leave little room for salary increases.
3. Theology and Religious Vocations
For those in this line of profession the median income is $38,000. While theology and religious vocations aren’t the most in-demand professions, they still manage to earn nearly $10,000 more than counselors and psychologists.
4. Human Services and Community Organizations
Despite performing an active role in the community, these majors earn a measly $38,000 on average per year. Majoring in these fields can lead to nebulous employment prospects. It remains to be seen how professionals in Human Services and Community Organizations can continue to function with their uncommonly-known degrees that overlap with Social Workers and Counselors.
5. Social Work
Social workers earn $39,000 on average as their median income. While this places them more than $10,000 above the average student loan debt level, it does little to shield them from national budget cuts. Social Workers have to contend with many states slashing budgets in order to remain solvent, so their employment prospects aren’t exactly bright.
Considering the soaring costs of college tuition, a quick glance at this list should show that these non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields aren’t exactly raking in the cash. Mounting student loan debt, combined with these tuition costs should give people some pause before majoring in these fields. The wrong major could mean four years of somewhat wasted time and a lifetime repaying debt using a salary that doesn’t yield much.