With student loans and the debt at an all-time high, it begs the question, is a college education worth the cost? It is certainly a worthy question and one that individuals should ask themselves repeatedly. Unfortunately there is no clear cut uniform answers. Many jobs these days require a degree or some sort of licensure to be able to be considered. The exact cost associated with each of these unique endeavors will be too specific to provide a uniform answer. But there are certainly some considerations that can be taken into account prior to making the jump. In preparing for this article I did find a couple of statistics that I found interesting.
Bottom 25% of Colleges and Their Graduates Earn Less Than High-School Graduates
I will be completely honest, this statistic took me by surprise. This is based on an article in The Economist. The number is based on the bottom 25% of colleges with the lowest SAT scores of incoming freshman. It then measured the graduates of these schools salary and compared it to those without a college education. Here it mentioned that the average salary of these individuals was indeed less than those who had only a high school education. It highlights the fact it really does matter where you attend college.
Recent regulation has been put into place which has made schools have to publish data on their various programs. This is done to help make the decision making process easier for potential students. Bottom line, schools with higher educated incoming freshman will outperform those schools who do not in virtually every aspect measured. Not all schools are the same.
Now, keep in mind, the Pew Research study is most likely the best argument for going to college. This study found that college graduates, aged 25-32, earn 62% more than those with only a high-school diploma. This study also states that 9 in 10 Millennials, aged 25-32, have stated that their college bachelor’s degree has already paid off with the increase in their earnings income. This number includes the approximate 66% of students who took out loans to attend college. The disparity has been apparent for quite some time and is continuing to grow over time.
The mantra statement of the NICCP, which I am a member, perfectly sums up my feelings. It reads as follows:
”Get student into colleges at the lowest net cost, graduate them on time, and make good money after graduation.”
I am an investment guy and someone who truly loves to look at investments and the various strategies involved. One of the biggest things I always look at is the risk to reward ratio. This simply means, how much am I willing to lose and where does the risk stand in comparison to the potential reward. I also like to look at the potential return on my investment (ROI). When evaluating a college education, I believe we can measure some of these components against one another and provide some context to answer the question is college is worth the cost to you.
With proprietary software, I can help you to evaluate various schools. We can determine the net cost, average graduation rate, and provide an approximate salary for your degree at different schools. Also, I can provide an analysis of multiple college choices and how they measure up one to another. You’ll walk away with a clear picture if a college education may be worth the investment for your career path. You may be surprised at the comparison when measuring some of your various schooling options. I believe this will provide you with the information needed to then make the determination if college is worth the cost to you.