Value of a College Degree

  • Graduates

  • Yes, paying for college is an investment. But if you make that initial investment, you will reap the many benefits of earning that degree:

    You’ll earn more money

    • The median wage for graduates aged 25-32 was $45,500 in 2012 compared with $28,000 for high school graduates.
    • Estimated average lifetime earnings for a college graduate is $3.3 million compared to $1.7 million for high school graduates.
    • The unemployment rate in 2012 for graduates aged 25-34 was 3.8% compared with 12.2% for high school graduates.  

    You’ll be healthier

    • Fewer college graduates smoke. 
    • They exercise more.
    • They are more likely to be covered by employer-provided health insurance.
    • Fewer are obese.

    You’ll be happier

    • 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.

    You'll have a more meaningful and productive life

    Is a college degree worth it? 91% of college grads said yes, and almost 90% of employers agree, according to a 2018 study.