Value of a College Degree

Yes, paying for college is an investment. But if you’re willing to make that initial investment, you’ll have a Pitt-Bradford education and a University of Pittsburgh degree, which will give you many opportunities and advantages.

You’ll also have a greater chance of reaping the many benefits of earning a college degree:

You’ll earn more money

  • The median income of adults 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree was $24,900 higher in 2018 than for those with a high school diploma only ($65,400 vs. $40,500). 
  • The median lifetime earnings for a person with a bachelor’s degree was $2.8 million compared to $1.6 million for someone with only a high school diploma. The median lifetime earnings of someone with an associate degree is $2 million. 

You’ll be healthier

  • Fewer college graduates smoke. 
  • More than two-thirds of college graduates exercise regularly.
  • They are more likely to be covered by employer-provided health insurance.
  • Fewer college graduates are obese.

You’ll be happier

  • A majority of Americans with a college degree said their college education helped them grow personally and professionally 
  • College graduates are more satisfied with their jobs.
  • They’re more likely to have pension plans through their employers.
  • They spend more time with their children.  

You’ll be a more productive member of society

  • College graduates have a greater understanding of political issues. 
  • They vote at a higher rate.
  • They volunteer in their communities more than twice as often as high school graduates.

In other words, you'll have a greater chance of having a more meaningful, productive and happy life.

A college education pays. Learn more by reading the details in this report.

Watch as a few of our faculty members discuss why college is important from their perspectives.