Ahead of Higher Ed: Proving college pays off

It is perpetually well-known that a degree earns college graduates more money than individuals holding only high school diplomas. But what tends to fluctuate is how much the degree is worth.

The College Board commissions an “Education Pays” series every three years, and the 2013 installment was just released. As reported by Inside Higher Ed, the previous “Education Pays” study raised questions on whether the College Board was overstating its results, making this 2013 installment highly anticipated.

“In 2011, median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients with no advanced degree working full time were $21,100 higher than those of high school graduates,” read the 2013 report. “The difference includes $5,000 in tax payments and $16,100 in after-tax income.”

The report goes on to compare earnings across ethnicities and genders as well. Also noteworthy is the “Lifetime Earnings” section, which compares the expected income of full-time employees over the course of a lifetime — that is, ages 25 to 64.

“During a 40-year full-time working life, the median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients without an advanced degree are 65 percent higher than the median earnings of high school graduates,” continued the report.

While not focusing on individuals, the report presents data demonstrating healthy trends and averages.

“The fact is that the typical college graduate is considerably more likely than the typical high school graduate to have a job, and that job is likely to pay significantly more than the average earnings of high school graduates.”

[email protected]

Leave a Comment