For What It's Worth

Here’s a question confronting our latest crop of graduates: is the value of education worth its cost? It depends on who you ask.

With a four-year degree at a private college averaging $100,000 many college students graduate with thousands of dollars in debt, and often no job in sight. College loans and credit cards are making it easier to look past the expensive costs of tuition, books, and room and board, and the costs pile up quickly.

So is college worth the cost?

Most economic reports say yes. Throughout a working career, having a college degree can yield up to $1 million dollars more in pay than a high school diploma. Average income for a college graduate is $56,788 per year versus the average income for a high school graduate at $31,071.

In fact, obtaining any kind of degree after high school increases your paycheck substantially. Graduates from top trade school DeVry University have reported a 70% success rate in landing a job, and many secure jobs with salaries near $50,000.

Statistics aside, the true value of secondary education goes beyond pop quizzes and final exams. College helps develop students’ professional communication skills and teaches them to solve more of life’s problems. In college, some of the most important learning happens outside the classroom through activities, campus organizations and clubs. And a college internship is a great way to test-drive a future career.

Regardless of what you study, remember that, although money doesn’t bring happiness, it can help pave the road.