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Estimating the Value of a College Education

College tuition costs have risen rapidly over the years, and students, as well as their parents, may wonder whether the return on the “investment” is worth the expense.

Even in a tight job market, college graduates are generally considered to have an advantage over their peers without college degrees. In the demands of today’s workplace, more and more employees are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, and possibly an advanced degree, if entering certain careers. Also, training in technology and knowledge of multiple computer software applications have become essential in order to compete for jobs and hold on to them.

Based on the most recent data (2014) released on higher education and earnings by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with high school diplomas earned on the average $33,852; those with Bachelor's degrees averaged $57,616; while people with advanced degrees earned $69,108. The data clearly demonstrates the extent to which higher education can pay off.

Depending on an individual’s career goals, a college education may be worth the commitment in time and money. Planning early to save for the escalating costs of tuition and fees, as well as researching financial award packages is the best overall strategy to ensure funding a college education. In return, college graduates may have access to more job opportunities and earn higher incomes while attaining a better standard of living.

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