Is there value in pursing a higher education?

By Mark Storer, Bay Area News Group, April 26, 2015

  • most important thing to learn in college had more bearing on who he/she is rather than what he/she does
  • on individual level, when we look only at earnings potential as the value of education, we miss a large part of the picture
  • it is completely possible for education to lead people down a path that does not increase (or possibly even decreases) lifetime earnings, but could lead them to personal and professional fulfillment
  • college is an institution; the location of that institution and the people who make up that institution are the source of the mind expansion, horizon-broadening that takes place during the college years
  • statistical date returned over more than 40 years of research show that those with Bachelor’s degrees or higher earn more than their counterparts who don’t get a degree
  • Does College Matter? (2014 Annual Report) Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
    • even for entrepreneurs, college is still the best place to develop skills, meet mentors and learn about what it takes to compete in the market
    • college environment is ideal for entrepreneurial-minded students to try out their ideas
    • it’s a pretty safe environment
    • college will hook your up with a mentor, in some cases provide funding and then you get to go out and validate your idea
    • colleges have the sort of perfect ecosystem that will support the pursuit of ideas
    • average college graduate earns enough “extra” to recover the cost of attending most colleges in fewer than 15 years
    • after that, the earnings advantage remains leaving the typical college graduate with a significant net return
    • College Calculator
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‘What’s It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors’ (Georgetown Univ. Study)

When considering your choice of major, students might want to consider this study as one of their many resources regarding income potential.  This (first of its kind)  study concluded that college graduates overall make 84% more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.  Further analysis of 171 majors discovered that various undergraduate majors can lead to significantly different median wages within certain fields.

Keep in mind that median salary level of particular majors/careers is only one piece of a very large and intricate puzzle when determining an appropriate (personal=right fit) college pathway.  Other considerations could include:  knowing what they would be doing everyday in that job, the job responsibilities, values of the occupation, the advancement potential, etc. Statistics show that an average worker changes careers 3-5 times in a lifetime.

To access a copy of the study, click here.

Financial Aids Information – January 16, 2009

The 4 Rules of Paying for College in a Recession (U.S. News – Education)

1. Grades matter more than ever.

2. Early birds will get more scholarship worms.

3. Students should apply to at least a couple of affordable schools.

4. Students should apply to at least a couple of generous schools.


Last Updated: January 16, 2009

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