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Higher Ed in the News

Financial investment in college begins to pay off at about age 33

September 21, 2010

Compared with a high school graduate, the typical four-year college graduate who enrolled in a public university at age 18 has earned enough by age 33 to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years and for borrowing enough to pay tuition and fees without grant aid.

"Questions have intensified about whether going to college is worthwhile," says Education Pays, released by College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. "For the typical student, the investment pays off very well over the course of a lifetime — even considering the expense."

Among findings:

  • Median full-time earnings with a bachelor's degree in 2008 were $55,700, $21,900 more than high school graduates.
  • The unemployment rate for college graduates rose from 2.6% to 4.6% between 2008 and 2009, while it rose for high school graduates from 5.7% to 9.7%.

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Read more in USA Today.