College is expensive, and the times are changing. In fact only about two-thirds of the current generation are opting receive bachelors degrees or higher. And for those that do pursue higher education, the price tag is higher than ever, and it's rare that your degree doesn't come unaccompanied by a load of debt. That means college is a business and we've got to start thinking like businesspeople. If you're going to spend at least 4 years and mess up some comas, let's look at the numbers. Here are a few college majors with pretty high ROI.


Marketing

The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." A four year education that costs on average $52,596 is the toll for a degree in marketing. Good news is, with an after tax salary averaging about $75-80,000 you can have those student loans paid off in as little as 5 years, and start making bank. Cue up the theme from "Mad Men"

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$74,935 after tax salary

5.3 years to pay back

$937 per month in loan payments

Engineering

Including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings the Civil engineering discipline deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, Civil Engineering has been around since antiquity is predated as a professional engineering career only by military engineering. Because civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and even in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies, work as a civil engineer is always abundant. 4 years of schooling for about $53,000, but with a salary that maxes out near $80,000, you should have it paid back in under 8 years.

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$76,286 after tax salary

7.4 years to pay back

$704 per month in loan payments

Economist

Practitioners of the discipline of economics study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and they also get paid to write about economic policy. Technically to be considered a major league economist you have to obtain your Ph.D., teach, and have published literature on economics. Then you're Ben Bernake and you run the central bank of the most powerful economy on earth.

While you won't be running the Fed or shifting the global economy with just your bachelors degree, with an average price tag of $52,000 and an average salary upwards of $90,000, we're sure you'll be just fine on your way to the top.

4 years.

$52,596 cost of tuition

$92,786 after tax salary

6.5 years to pay back

$785 per month in loan payments

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Afghan women

NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.