The Value of College

Does a college education carry a high price tag and mean incurring debt? Yes, and most likely, yes.

But are there benefits that extend beyond – and include – salary? That’s the ongoing debate.

A new survey by The Pew Research Center revealed that 86% of college graduates believe that college was a good investment.

Among respondents who graduated from a four-year college:
- 74% said their college education helped them grow intellectually
- 69% said it helped them grow as a person
- 55% said it helped them prepare for the workforce.

Whereas 57% of those surveyed (both college and non-college graduates) said that higher education fails to provide value for the cost, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that education is worth the price tag. The Bureau’s statistics – based on 2010 annual averages for full-time employees, ages 25 and over – say that education pays in lower unemployment rates and higher earnings.

In 2010, unemployment was 14.9% for people who had failed to receive a high school diploma, 10.3% for high school graduates and 5.4% for those with a Bachelor’s degree. The median weekly earnings in 2010: $444 for those with less than a high school diploma, $626 for high school graduates and $1,038 for those with a Bachelor’s degree.

Is college worth the price? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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