Guess What: Going To College Still Pays

Career College Central summary:

  • A new study from the Pew Research Center shows going to college still pays. And despite the bloated price of a degree (which continues to rise faster than inflation: the tuition at private schools in 2013, for example, was up 13 percent beyond overall inflation over the past five years) and the outsized average student debt load that comes with it, a college education remains the best possible investment for future earnings, economic well-being and career attainment.
  • Despite the collective distress over the lack of available jobs for educated workers, millennial college graduates (those age 25 to 32) face an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, a rosy number compared to the 8.1 percent for millennials with a two-year degree or some college and the 12.1 percent for those with only a high school diploma.
  • College-educated millennials are more likely to be employed full time (89 percent) when compared to their counterparts without a degree (82 percent). And, on average, they make significantly more money than employed adults holding only a high school diploma: $45,000 a year, compared to $28,000 annually.
  • While the value of a college education has continued to increase (between 1965 and last year, the median annual earnings of 25 to 32-year-olds with a college degree grew from $38,833 to $45,500 in 2012 dollars), the value of a high school diploma has decreased (falling from $31,384 in 1965 to $28,000 in 2013). Bottom line: across the board, the economic outlook for college graduates is far far brighter than it is for those without a degree. Unfortunately, if you can afford college, you really can't afford not to go.

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