With four years of college costing up to $100,000 today, many people are asking the question: Is it worth the investment?
The payoff for college graduates, in purely monetary terms, amounts to more than $200 a week in salary. According to data from a survey of working Americans released by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the earnings of employed college graduates average $640 a week, compared with $404 a week for those with only a high school degree.
For white men, a bachelor's degree pays off most--$261 a week more than white men who don't go beyond high school. Black men with college degrees earn $236 a week more than black male high school graduates with no college diploma. White women who are college graduates earn $211 a week more than their high school graduate counterparts; black female college graduates earn $189 a week more than black women who don't go beyond high school. But even if college grads earn roughly $10,000 a year more than high school graduates, it could still take years to recoup their investment.
"Not everyone needs to be college-bound," said Scott Passeser, president of Daniel Scott Associates, a Garden City, N. Y.-based outplacement and career management company. "In the future, I think you'll see more attention paid to vocational training."