With the cost of college climbing like it’s on a ladder trying to reach heaven, it’s causing many to pause and wonder – is a college degree worth it. Really?
Here’s the data from the College Board ...
The average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
Remember, that’s just tuition and fees. That does not include housing, meals, books or school supplies. Those expenses can easily add up to $10,000 to $16,000 a year, depending on where you go to school. When you add housing the cost for a private college reaches $45,370, while a public four-year costs $20,090. Then when you multiply that by four years of attendance, well – you’re looking at a total tab that can span anywhere from $80,000 to $180,000 plus. This tab meets you on graduation day – whether you have a job or not. That’s why we have a student debt problem that exceeds $1.3 trillion.
Yes, the costs are high. But they’re not high enough to turn away from pursuing a college degree. While there are some bank-rolling highly successful entrepreneurs who did not finish their degrees (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson) – let’s be honest. The odds of joining their ranks are slim-to-none.
The Stats Say Yes. College is STILL Worth It.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you opt not to go to college there will be a price to pay. And the gap is at a record high.
Brothers and sisters who get that degree earn a median weekly salary of $1,137. Those without the degree only earn an average of $678. That’s just about half. But check this – the gap expands even more for those who obtain a doctoral degree. The median weekly salary for them is $1,623. And here’s the real deal – over the course of a lifetime, those with a college degree with earn $1.1-million dollars (one more time – MILLION dollars) compared to those without a degree!
The Cost of Not Going to College
Some people think that these numbers only apply to folk who go to big-name Ivy League schools. But such is not the case. The Economic Policy Institute numbers show that the benefits of college don’t just go to graduates of elite colleges, but to all college graduates with a four-year degree.
And, those with a high school degree face 17.9 percent unemployment versus 5.6 percent for college graduates. And nearly one in seven high school graduates is stuck in a part-time job with entry-level wages, and very few options for full-time employment.
So before you, your child or someone you know and love decides that college is not something s/he necessarily needs, share this article so they can understand the bottom line facts. As the saying goes – “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
NEXT: COMMUNITY. STATE. PRIVATE. IVY LEAGUE. DOES WHERE YOU GO TO COLLEGE MATTER?
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College. It's Costly. Challenging.
And Time Consuming.
But it's still worth it!