College Degrees Worth the Cost, Study Shows

In spite of rising tuition costs, a college degree is still essential to opening economic doors and earning higher lifetime pay, says a new report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The report, called “The College Payoff,” cites a 2002 Census Bureau study that estimated the average lifetime earnings of a bachelor’s degree holder to be $2.7 million back in 1999, which was 75 percent more than earned by high school graduates of the same year.

Today, that monetary disparity has grown to 84 percent, making postsecondary education more important than ever before; a bachelor’s degree is now worth $2.8 million, on average, over a lifetime.

While the study’s authors admit that there are pay variations based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, and occupation, the data show an undeniable correlation between more education and more economic return.

As a result, the findings present a solid case for continuing on to graduate school. According to the report, those with a graduate degree earn twice what those with a high school diploma do in their lifespan.

Even more astounding, doctoral and professional degrees add an additional 61 percent (or $1.4 million) to the lifetime earnings of someone with a bachelor’s degree. But only 33 percent of college graduates go on to get a graduate or professional degree.

However, having a diploma is 84 percent better than having none at all.

“No matter how you cut it, more education pays,” the authors say in their conclusion.

Can’t view the report? Click here.




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