According to a study published on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the average U.S. college graduate will earn at least $800,000 more than those who don’t attend college. This figure also accounts for the high cost of tuition and the four years of your life you spend working towards your degree. According to Reuters:
“Although there are stories of people who skipped college and achieved financial success, for most Americans the path to higher future earnings involves a four-year college degree,” wrote Mary Daly, the San Francisco Fed’s associate director of research, and Leila Bengali, a research associate, in the latest Economic Letter from the regional Fed bank.
The study found that college students who pay $21,200 in yearly tuition will recoup their investment by age 38. Interesting enough, they found that about 90% of students in public colleges, and 20% of students in private colleges, pay less than that amount. Lastly, college graduates will have earned $831,000 more by retirement than non-college grads.
A college student who pays $21,200 in yearly tuition will recoup that investment by age 38, the researchers found. About 90 percent of students at public colleges, and 20 percent of students at private colleges, pay less than that amount, they found. By retirement, that student will have earned $831,000 more than a peer who never went to college.
But what about if you go to a school that makes you pay a ton of money? The study suggests that the benefits might be smaller.
“Although some colleges cost more, there is no definitive evidence that they produce far superior results for all students,” they wrote, adding “… redoubling the efforts to make college more accessible would be time and money well spent.”
In short, college is apparently still worth it.