With the price of college at the highest it’s ever been, soon to be students may wonder whether or not higher education is worth the cost. It is true graduates have a rough time finding work, and college debt makes it harder for graduates to pay for the cost of living, but obtaining a college degree has never been more important.
College is an investment for the future. Overall, the average cost to attend college at a public university is $8,893 for students attending a public university within their state, $22,203 for out-of-state students at public universities, and a grand total of $30,094 for private universities.
Research conducted by the Institute for College Access & Success for its Project on Student Debt recently revealed the average college student debt is set at $29,400, as reported by CNN. The price to attend college on an annual basis may seem expensive, even to attend a public school, but it is well worth every penny. See why college is still worth the time and expense.
What is a degree worth?
The opportunities for someone with a college degree are far more numerous than for a person with only a high school diploma. Not only is it easier for someone with a college degree to find a job, but on average they earn substantially more than those without a degree. On average, college graduates between the ages of 25 to 32 make $17,500 more annually than those with only a high school diploma, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center.
A difference of $17,500 a year can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you calculated the difference, it would take just a little over two years for a person to pay off their debt if they attended a public university. So, although it may be a considerable monetary expense to attend college, in the long-run it offers much more promise for a person to have a higher income than someone without a degree.
The unemployment rate for people with college degrees is far less than those with only high school diplomas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of Jan. 2014, the unemployment rate for a person with a bachelor’s degree or higher was at 3.2 percent, compared to an individual with just a high school diploma, which was at 6.5 percent. Even worse, the study shows people without a high school diploma have an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. From this study, it’s easy to conclude that the more educated a person is, the less likely they are to face unemployment.
Remember, there is aid
Students and parents overlook the fact that financial aid, grants, and scholarships are all available to students. To help compensate for the cost of education students should become more aware of scholarships. If a student is able to obtain at least $2,000 in scholarship money every year while in college, he or she can save a total of $8,000 from their overall education cost. That can make college more than worth the experience, especially since, with a degree, they will be well on their way to starting a career.
In the end, there is no price tag on the experience
From studying abroad to living away from home for the first time, the experience and opportunities college presents are unforgettable. Students are exposed to nourishing environments for their social life and minds. They are also surrounded by like-minded people, some of whom will become lifelong friends. College is a time when a person is allowed the opportunity to figure out what type of career they would like to pursue, and to learn just how much hard work it takes to reach a goal.
Another important aspect of college is the opportunity to network. Students can build relationships through networking and help one another achieve their goals. In today’s digital age it is more important than ever for everyone to network, and college presents the perfect place to stay connected. As you can see, for all that it costs, the price tag on education is still worth your time and money.
Gerald is a staff writer at MyBankTracker.com. He is an expert in real estate, mortgages and credit.