Feet on the Street

Career Resources, Information and News

Is College Worth It?

Posted by Lori on February 24, 2010

Is going to college really worth it? Probably so, but it’s not that clear cut, and economics have been arguing the point for 30 years. Most studies tend to show that college-educated people end up making far more money in the course of their lifetimes. (The niggle: Usually, it’s not worth paying for a private university.)

Oh my! This is not what we really want to hear. As parents, we want to know that the financial investment we make in our children will be returned to them ten-fold. Adults returning to college hope for the same return on their investment. It’s good to think the all efforts will be rewarded, but the truth is that some will come up short. In his article, Infographic of the Day: Is College Really Worth It? , Cliff Kuang gives us some amazing factoids.

  • Every year, more than 2 million high school students enroll in college. After the first year, 1 out of 3 will drop out. Collectively wasting $9 billion every year.
  • The most expensive college after room and board is Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. It costs approximately $149/day, $54,410/year. Take that times a 4 year degree and you have invested $217,640. For that much money, you could buy a Ferrari!
  • Compare the tuition, room and board at Yale, an Ivy League College, to an in-state university and you will invest an additional $27,500/year at Yale. With that investment, you could expect to earn approximately $56,000/year. You could expect to earn about $49,600 with your in-state university education. If you chunk out all of the numbers, it will take you 17 years to make up the difference in tuition.

We will re-visit this information from time-to-time and see what other conclusions we can draw from the data. What is your plan for college? Will you go directly from high school to work, or will you go to a technical college, or university? Make sure you compare the data on the cost of the tuition with realistic earning capacity before signing your enrollment form.

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