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America’s Growing Adjunct Crisis [Infographic]


Though they study on average more than eight years to teach, most adjunct professors earn just $20,000 a year. The number of masters and doctorate degree holders on food stamps has tripled in the past few years. Why do we reward our best and brightest with measly pay, massive debt and, very often, no career?

According to, America is experiencing a growing adjunct crisis. Adjuncts trying to get their foot in the door for a high-paying teaching job (tenured professors earn $120,000, on average), put up with pay akin to indentured servitude. Their sacrifice keeps the system afloat. 

States spent $16 billion on public colleges back in 2008 – that’s $2,353 less per students – while flagship university systems have since kept slashing funding, according to the American Association of University Professors. In California, the UC system slashed 180 programs and laid off 4,200 staff members, leaving 9,500 jobs unfilled. 

Skyrocketing matriculation rates and fewer staff to teach leave adjuncts with more demanding jobs than the tenure track positions they aspire to. There are 45 percent more full-time students now than there were a decade ago. But tenure track positions have increased just 28 percent in the past three decades, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Tuition and enrollment are on the rise, but clearly the value of our educators is not.

(Infographic credit:

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