Charted: The Rising Average Cost of College in the U.S.
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The Rising Cost of College in the U.S.

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The Briefing

  • Since 1980, college tuition and fees in the U.S. have increased by 1,200%
  • Because of the shift to online classes, 2020 saw the lowest tuition increase in the last four decades

The Rising Cost of College in America

The average cost of getting a college degree has soared relative to overall inflation over the last few decades.

Since 1980, college tuition and fees are up 1,200%, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items has risen by only 236%.

The Average Cost of College Over Time

Back in 1980, it cost $1,856 to attend a degree-granting public school in the U.S., and $10,227 to attend a private school after adjusting for inflation.

Since then, the figures have skyrocketed. Here’s how college tuition and the CPI have both changed since 1980:

YearAvg. Undergrad Tuition and Fees (Public) Avg. Undergrad Tuition and Fees (Private)CPI % Change (College Tuition and Fees)
CPI % Change (All Items)
1980$1,856$10,2270%0%
1990$2,750$16,590150.2%63.5%
2000$3,706$21,698382.5%117%
2010$5,814$25,250828.6%178.8%
2020$9,403$34,0591198.9%231.82%

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. News
Note: Tuition and fees are in constant 2018-19 dollars. For public schools, in-state tuition and fees are used. All CPI % change values calculated for the month of January.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest year-over-year change in college tuition and fees was recorded in June 1982 at 14.2%— and over that same time period, overall inflation was up 6.6%.

On the other hand, November 2020 saw the lowest year-over-year change in the average cost of college at 0.6%, mainly as a result of the shift to online classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, some schools are offering discounts to students, and some are even canceling scheduled tuition increases entirely in a bid to remain attractive.

Why is the Cost of College Rising?

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons behind the rapid surge in the cost of education, a few factors could help explain why U.S. colleges hike their prices.

  • Decrease in State Funding
    State funding per student fell from $8,800 (2007-08) to $8,200 (2018-19), while the share of tuition in college revenues increased.
  • Increase in Demand
    The demand for a college education has increased over time. Between 2000-2018, undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 26%.
  • Increase in Federal Aid
    According to a study from the New York Fed, every $1 in subsidized federal student loans increases college tuition by $0.60. Student loan debt has doubled since the 2008 recession.

Furthermore, the costs of providing education, known as institutional expenditures, have also escalated over time. These include spending on instruction, student services, administrative support, operations, and maintenance—all of which are critical to the student experience.

With student debt at unprecedented levels and ongoing public debates surrounding the rising costs of education, it’s uncertain how college tuition will evolve. However, given the onset of virtual classes, further hikes to college tuitions may be on hold for the foreseeable future.

Where does this data come from?

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Details: Data for the average cost of college comes from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for College Tuition and Fees. Overall inflation is measured by the CPI for all items (CPI-U). Data is seasonally adjusted and the reference base for the indices is 1982-84 = 100.

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Ranked: The World’s 20 Biggest Hedge Funds

This annual ranking shows the world’s largest hedge funds, which collectively hold an estimated $45 trillion in assets under management.

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The Briefing

  • Bridgewater Associates remains the top hedge fund by assets under management (AUM)
  • Brevan Howard witnessed strong growth in AUM, moving from 26th to 19th in the ranking

Ranked: The World’s 20 Biggest Hedge Funds

Collectively, the world’s 15,000 hedge funds manage around $4.5 trillion in assets for their clients, weathering economic storms and world events to ensure returns.

This visual breaks down the world’s biggest hedge funds in terms of assets under management using data from Pensions & Investments.

The Top 20

The world’s biggest hedge fund by a mile is Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates. At the time of this ranking, Bridgewater managed over $126 billion in assets for clients as wide ranging as university endowment funds, charities, and foreign country’s central banks.

Here’s a closer look at the ranking:

RankHedge FundAssets (millions USD)Headquarters
#1Bridgewater Associates$126,400🇺🇸 U.S.
#2Man Group$73,500🇬🇧 UK
#3Renaissance Technologies$57,000🇺🇸 U.S.
#4Millennium Management$54,968🇺🇸 U.S.
#5Citadel$52,970🇺🇸 U.S.
#6D.E. Shaw Group$47,861🇺🇸 U.S.
#7Two Sigma Investments/Advisers$40,969🇺🇸 U.S.
#8Davidson Kempner Capital Management$37,450🇺🇸 U.S.
#9Farallon Capital Management$37,400🇺🇸 U.S.
#10TCI Fund Management$36,200🇬🇧 UK
#11Marshall Wace$34,400🇬🇧 UK
#12Ruffer$31,662🇬🇧 UK
#13AOR Capital Management$28,200🇺🇸 U.S.
#14Anchorage Capital Group$27,100🇺🇸 U.S.
#15Baupost Group$26,300🇺🇸 U.S.
#16Point72 Asset Management$26,100🇺🇸 U.S.
#17Capula Investment Management$25,000🇬🇧 UK
#18Wellington Management$24,968🇺🇸 U.S.
#19Brevan Howard Asset Management$23,353🇬🇧 UK
#20PIMCO$23,054🇺🇸 U.S.

This annual ranking uses AUM data from June 2022

Overall, 70% of hedge funds are headquartered in North America, with many of the world’s largest based in the United States, specifically.

ℹ️ Hedge funds are essentially pooled investments pulled together by the fund’s clients. The managers then utilize a variety of strategies to produce returns on investments, buying and selling assets such as stocks, commodities, real estate, bonds, and so on. The fund itself makes money by charging fees to their clients and taking a percentage of the profits earned on trading.

The Fastest Growing Hedge Funds

Many of these large hedge funds were new to the top 20 category, having moved up dramatically from the 2021 ranking. Here’s a look at some of the AUM growth rates year-over-year.

RankHedge FundGrowth in AUM (% Change Y-o-Y)
#1Brevan Howard Asset Management46.0%
#2Citadel40.8%
#3PIMCO25.3%
#4D.E. Shaw Group20.4%
#5Point72 Asset Management19.7%
#6Bridgewater Associates19.6%
#7Man Group15.9%
#8Wellington Management10.5%
#9AQR Capital Management8.0%
#10Millennium Management5.1%
#11Capula Investment Management4.6%
#12Marshall Wace3.9%
#13Two Sigma Investments/Advisers 3.6%
#14Davidson Kempner Capital Management0.3%
#15Renaissance Technologies-1.7%
#16Farallon Capital Management-1.8%
#17TCI Fund Management-9.5%
#18Anchorage Capital Group-12.8%
#19Baupost Group-15.2%
#20Ruffer-

UK-based Brevan Howard jumped from 26th to 19th, witnessing a 46% increase in their assets under management.

Hedge fund growth can be uncorrelated with the broader market, and is not necessarily an indicator of the overall economy. However, analyzing the strategies used by hedge funds and their performance can often provide useful insight for investors.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The Pensions & Investments annual ranking of largest hedge funds.

Source: This ranking uses AUM data from June 2022. This visualization can be used as a consistent snapshot of the size and proportionality of hedge funds. Current AUM for each may very.

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Disruptive Materials: Visualizing America’s Import Dependency

A handful of materials are increasingly crucial for the next generation of emerging technologies. But as the data shows, the U.S. is heavily reliant on foreign nations to supply these materials. (Sponsored)

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The Briefing

  • The U.S. is 100% import dependent on manganese and graphite
  • China and Canada are the two nations the U.S. is most import reliant on

America’s Import Dependency for Disruptive Materials

The U.S. is expected to see surging demand for disruptive materials, which are those deemed to have high level importance for their role in next generation technologies. But many of these disruptive materials like manganese, cobalt, and lithium are primarily imported from foreign countries.

This graphic from Global X ETFs takes a closer look at America’s reliance on net imports for these disruptive materials. Countries are ranked by how many commodities of which the U.S. is a net importer. And net importer is defined as over 50% of domestic use or consumption comes from foreign sources rather than domestic production.

Ranking Country Reliance

The U.S. imports commodities from a lot of countries, including from economic rivals. And these commodities include well known ones like nickel, zinc, and lithium, which are critical to climate-friendly technologies. However, the data reveals that there are a select number of countries where dependency is highest. Here’s a look at the top eight countries.

CountryNumber of Commodities Net Import Reliant
🇨🇳 China 19-23
🇨🇦 Canada13-18
🇷🇺 Russia 7-12
🇮🇳 India7-12
🇧🇷 Brazil7-12
🇿🇦 South Africa 7-12
🇩🇪 Germany7-12
🇲🇽 Mexico7-12

The U.S. is most dependent on China where they are net import reliant on 19-23 different commodities, followed by Canada with 13-18. In addition, the U.S. is 100% import reliant on manganese and graphite, and 76% import reliant on cobalt.

As these materials become increasingly important for AI, robotics, drone technology, as well as for climate infrastructure like solar panels and wind turbines, nations will desire to bolster their own supply chains and be less reliant on other countries. This may also accelerate due to the pandemic highlighting the fragility behind global supply chains.

Overall, this creates an environment where the market for disruptive materials will see extended periods of high demand and rising prices, otherwise known as a demand supercycle.

Introducing the Global X Disruptive Materials ETF

The Global X Disruptive Materials ETF (Ticker: DMAT) seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive Disruptive Materials Index.

To learn more about gaining exposure to the rising demand for disruptive materials, click here now.

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