With a troubled economy still very much a reality, people are looking for ways to cut cost corners. Unfortunately for some students, that means questioning if they should go to college after high school or go straight into the work force to help out their families. Many families have had to dip into their kids’ college funds to pay the bills and those that aren’t lucky enough to have a college fund are in even more of a tight spot.
With all of the layoffs and job-loss facing millions of Americans, many are questioning if going to college and earning a degree is worth it anymore. Those wanting to go to college should feel optimistic, as new information has surfaced to answer that very question. In a study done by the College Board, it has been shown that the value of a college degree is indeed going up.
Although many people are out of work right now, there are still some major advantages to earning a college degree. Those that have a college degree still earn more money and are less likely to be unemployed than those that don’t. Those with a bachelor’s degree have seen their pay premium rise between 19 and 20 percent within the last ten years. For many in recent years, having a college degree has protected them from unemployment. The rate of unemployment among college graduates is at 4.6 percent compared to 9.7 percent among those that only graduated from high school.
For those wondering about paying back student loans after graduation, there is hope there, too. This study shows that after roughly 11 years of work, those that graduated from college have earnings that make up for the four years they were in school and away from the work force and for student loans.
All of this information is helpful as people begin to weigh their choices. Tuition costs have been rising faster than inflation so it’s understandable that the value of a college education would come under question. Of course the information within this study doesn’t apply to absolutely every college graduate, but it does answer the question of if having a degree pays off. Different things can happen to different people, but college, in general, is a good investment.
The College Board report was first issued in 2004 and was updated in 2007.