Counselors Corner; Is There Value in a College Degree?

October 6, 2015

It seems every summer we read news article questioning the “value” of a college education.  Do young people (and adults) need to go to college? Is the investment worth it?  The answer is simply, yes!  If as a guidance counselor, you are having a hard time convincing students, or more importantly, their stubborn parents, that their children need to earn a college degree ; here are just a few stats that will help you make the case.

  • A recent pew research study found that a person aged 25-32 who holds a bachelor’s degree makes $17,500 more per year than someone with just a high school diploma.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank shows the “rate of return” on a college degree between 14 and 15 percent, making it one of the best investments in our economy.
  • Since the 1960’s, college grads make almost double what their high school diploma counterparts make. For women, it is even higher.

college incoe premuim

  • The unemployment rate for those with college degrees is also much lower than those with just a high school diploma.  

earnings and unemployment

  • The most powerful argument we can make is revealed by the following chart. Since the economic recovery began in 2010, research from Bloomburg found that 97% of the good paying jobs were landed by college graduates.

good jobs go

The cost of college has risen quickly, but the return on that bigger investment still outweighs the alternatives.  College is not for everybody and there are plenty of good-paying careers that do not require a college degree, but in America, the safest ticket to the middle class continues to be higher education.  

-John Penrose,
Vice President of Enrollment


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