We know college is worth it – but how much?

Between our college struggles and stressing over exams, we often stop to think – is it really worth it? Countless sources and studies reassure us that yes, it is. But how much really? A recent study at Cleveland Fed puts some real numbers behind the oft heard reassuring claims.

As the Wall Street Journal article nicely summarizes, those with “some college” can hope to earn roughly 20% more than those with just a High School diploma. But workers with a bachelor’s degree can expect as much as 60% premium over non-graduates! And going further, post-graduates can expect an additions 30% increase on top of that.

The study also confirms what we probably heard before – engineering and business degrees are the most valuable, with about 75% boost in wages versus just high school diploma. With an advanced degree in those fields, this jumps up to 120%. But even other degrees, such as communications, can increase future earnings by about 50% – not an insignificant number at all.

But wages are not the only benefit of a college degree. The Freeport News reports that graduates in the Bahamas have “…greater economic stability and security, less criminal activity, are less dependent on government assistance, have greater knowledge of government and a better quality of life overall.” Not to mention all the great experiences, friends, and stories we will undoubtedly acquire during our four years at a university.

These findings may not be new, but when cramming late night for an important exam, it’s good to remind ourselves that our efforts will have real, tangible benefits in the end.

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