Then vs. Now

As Excelsior College celebrates 50 years of helping adult students accomplish their educational goals, let’s travel back in time to compare life in 1971 versus in 2021

In 1971, Nixon was president and the Vietnam War was in its 16th year. It was also the year the New York State Board of Regents founded the Regents External Degree Program, what we know today as Excelsior College. The Regents External Degree Program changed the landscape of higher education with its innovative approach to enabling students earn degrees through credit aggregation and exam completion. In the 50 years since, Excelsior has continued its generous credit acceptance policies, awarding of credit, and exam options; added fully online degree and certificate programs; and recently began offering professional skills training. Excelsior’s focus on providing educational opportunities hasn’t changed over time, but many other things have!

Average Hourly Earnings

1971: $7.10
2021: $29.81

Average Gasoline Price

1971: $0.33
2021: $2.44

Cost of Raising a Child to 18 Years Old

1971: $80–$150,000
2021: Upward to $245,000

Most Popular Cars

1971: Chrysler New Yorker, Lincoln Continental, and Ford Thunderbird
2021: Expected to be Kia Seltos, Toyota RAV4, and Lexus IS





Smart phone comparison with items from 1971
Average Price of a Movie Ticket

1971: $1.65
2021: $9.26

Per Capita Income

1971: $4,491
2021: $54,200





1971: The Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys 16–13 in Super Bowl V

2021: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31–9 in Super Bowl LV

Highest Paying Jobs

1971: Physicians and surgeons at $25,000 per year, followed by managers and administrators at $12,597 per year

2021: Physicians and surgeons at $208,000 per year, followed by IT jobs like big data engineers at $159,135 per year and information systems security managers at $149,454 per year

Average Annual Cost of Private College Undergraduate Tuition

1971: $2,930
2021: $35,801

At Excelsior: $12,240

Adults with a Bachelor’s Degree

1971: 11.4%
2021: 36%





Starbucks Locations worldwide

1971: 1

First founded in Washington

2021: 32,000

Locations in 83 countries

Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree

1971: Education
2021: Business