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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Is College Worth It?

Pew Research Center
May 15, 2011

The typical college graduate earns an estimated $650,000 more than the typical high school graduate over the course of a 40-year work life, according to a new analysis of census and college cost data by the Pew Research Center.

Of course, this difference doesn’t apply in all cases; some high school graduates are high earners, and some college graduates are low earners. Also, the monetary return to college is influenced by a variety of factors, including type of college attended and major field of study.

But on average—and after taking into account the fact that a dollar earned at the start of someone’s working life is more valuable than a dollar earned toward the end of that person’s working life the analysis finds that the typical or average high school graduate with no further education earns about $770,000 over a 40-year work life. The typical worker with a (two-year) associate degree earns about $1.0 million, and the typical worker with a bachelor’s degree and no advanced degree earns about $1.4 million.


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