Is a College Degree Worth the Cost? You be the judge...
No degree guarantees that a college graduate will earn more over a lifetime than a high school student. Although many sources try to say otherwise; data from one source in 2008 stated an individual with a bachelor’s degree would earn about $1.9 million more than someone with just a high school diploma over their lifetime. Although another source claims there are many jobs where high school graduates will earn more than a college graduate. Most college graduates will need a starting salary of $40,000 or better to overcome lifetime earnings of high school graduates. How can it be that someone with a $40,000 starting salary can’t out-earn the average high school graduate? The reason is many college students don’t work while attending college. Those who work right out of high school have been working for years earning money and experience, giving them a head start.
With the average annual tuition of $25,000, a student paying their own way is facing $100,000+ in student loans by the end of their educational journey. That translates into the average college graduate having to pay $800 to $1,000 plus per month in loan fees. It’s no surprise that student loans have now surpassed credit card debt and it at over $1 trillion! And let’s not forget that as of July 1, 2012 the previous six month grace period offered to students before needing to payback their loans has been eliminated.
There a guarantee that having a college degree will secure a graduate a job, whether it is their dream job or any job for that matter? When taking into consideration all of the costs involved and uncertainties, inflation of tuition over the past two decades (3%-4%). How it costs most middle class families to send two or more children to college than what they paid or owe on their house and the debt incurred. As well as the days of lifetime employment and pension security, that used to be a driving force with older generations, who can blame people for asking if having a college degree is necessary or worth the investment?
So who should we really believe? After doing a bit of research I've found there is no right or wrong answer. Obtaining a degree and going into debt should not be something a person does because that’s what society or parents says they need to do, it should be done because a person wants it to pursue a career or path that will require a degree. So the answer lies within each of us, a decision that should be made to ensure, one we are happy, and two so time and money is not wasted on something one does not find useful. Don’t get a degree just because, make sure there is a purpose and true driving force behind you wanting to obtain a degree, and how advanced of a degree you want to pursue.
Until next time!
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain