Does College Education Pay Off?

How does college education pay off or Is it really worth paying for?

  Main Points:

-Income figures boosted by earning Bachelors Degree is overstated, say economists.

-because it ignores the cost of education and opportunity cost for forgoing income from working instead.

-College education does pay however

-each year of college adds 6% to 10% to annual income.

-someone with Bachelors Degree will make about $1million than their same age counterparts with just a High School Diploma.

-College bound students compared to those who stop at High School level, in terms of factors affecting earning potential regardless of a college degree

-higher income

-higher grades

-better standardized scores

-Employers prefer degrees

-some require licenses

-shows readiness for work

-Completing a college degree means

-lifetime earnings increase between $300,000 to $600,000

-Factors to consider

-some degrees confer more earning power

-some 28% who stop at Associates Degree earn more than who get Bachelors Degree


Even though it’s a widely believed perception that earning a college degree will make increase one’s earning potential, but there are other factors that needs to be taken into consideration. For example, attending college spending money on college tuition fees, books, transportation means, course supplies and many more; it also depletes the income that students could have earned from working at the time they were attending colleges.

But college education does carry a value. A research study has shown that each year of college education adds up to 6% to 10% to an annual income. Someone with Bachelors Degree will make about $1million than their same age counterparts with just a High School Diploma. Employers also prefer prospective employees to get a college education if the type of work involves a licensed practice; college degree also shows readiness to work.

Even though earning a college degree means increase of $300,000 to $600,000 to a lifetime income, one has to consider some degrees have higher earning potential than others as evidenced by about 28% of Associate Degree graduate who earn more than some people with Bachelors Degree.

Sources: Wall Street Journal: College does pay off


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