The Value of A College Degree

Many people are reconsidering the merits of a college degree since costs seem to always be on the rise. Potential college students frequently consider whether expensive tuition, large quantities of student loan debt, and attending school rather than working is a decision that will be beneficial in the future. Attending college can be a very difficult decision for students who come from families struggling financially.

It's best to consider whether obtaining a college degree is worth the time and money and conducting some research about the usefulness and value of degrees you're considering before deciding whether to enroll in college.

The Economic Value of Higher Education

The many benefits resulting from college education usually justifies the money spent obtaining a degree. Although wages between high school and college graduates often does not vary significantly until after years of work experience is acquired, college graduates usually earn more money during their working lives than people with only high school diplomas. The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that those with bachelor's degrees earn nearly 2 million dollars, associate's degrees nearly 1.5 million dollars, and high school diplomas nearly 1.2 million dollars during their careers.

The increased earnings throughout one's working life is just one good reason to acquire a college degree. Most students currently enrolled in college and universities attend public institutions. These schools do not cost as much to attend as private schools. Students attending public college and universities usually pay just over 8,000 dollars per year, which includes tuition, books, and living expenses. Students attending community colleges usually end up paying nearly 1,300 dollars for tuition annually.

Obtaining a college degree can be expensive, but college graduates usually earn more money during their lives than those who do not finish college. The high costs of attending college should be viewed as an investment that pays off later in life.

Other Benefits of Higher Education

Besides higher wages, there are numerous other benefits associated with graduating from college. Many college graduates enjoy the opportunity to work where they want to live, have more time for recreation, and have a high standard of living. Some of the greatest benefits of a college education are experienced during school. Students have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and interesting subjects. They are also introduced to theories and unfamiliar ideas they might not learn about without attending college.

Some research indicates that many college graduates have healthy lifestyles. As a result, children of college graduates often receive instruction about the importance of good nutrition and exercise. This in turn improves the quality of life and life expectancy rates for college graduates and their families.

The Social Value of Higher Education

Some research has documented a link between increased morality and college education. For example, researchers have demonstrated that college educated mothers devote a considerable amount of time teaching their children values and educating them.

Society benefits overall from higher education. Some of the benefits include higher tax receipts, increased public awareness about important issues, and lower unemployment rates.

College Attendance vs. College Completion

According to a recent study, nearly 600,000 students drop out of college every year. Those not finishing college usually have lower wages than college graduates of both four year institutions and community colleges. Students at community colleges also improve or develop cognitive abilities at nearly the same rate as students at traditional colleges and universities. Tuition expenses, however, usually differ at 4-year schools and community colleges, with students attending 4-year institutions usually paying more. Since cognitive skills development improve at the nearly the same rate and community college is less expensive, individuals not completely committed to graduating should attend community college. Those who enter four-year colleges or universities should commit to obtain a degree because of the time and financial commitment made any year during college.

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