Benefits of college outweigh costs

By Tatum Hohl

Many USD students are under the impression that the approximately $40,000 per year tuition spent on this university is going to waste. However, research shows that this assumption is far from the truth. The differences in earnings and opportunities between a mere high school graduate and a college graduate are guaranteed to disprove the assumption that the money spent on college isn’t worth it.

In a time of economic strife, finding a job is a difficult task for the majority of the U.S. However, it is an even worse task for those without a college degree. A study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that more than 2.2 million jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree have been created since the start of the recession in 2007.

Meanwhile, the same study found that jobs requiring only a high school diploma have decreased by 5.8 million during that same time span.

If these statistics don’t convince you on the benefits of a college education, you are not alone. Since the USD tuition is relatively higher than many other universities in the U.S., there are still students who are skeptical of the costs of tuition and additional costs that build up while one is a student.

“College ends up being too expensive because of the additional costs of living added onto tuition” said Freshman Francesca Calleo.

Forbes did, however, cite that at of the end of 2011, citizens with only a high school diploma were unemployed at a rate of 9.4%, well above the national unemployment rate of 8.9% for the same year. On the other hand, those who held a bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, almost half the rate of those with only a high school education.

While these statistics concern most college students’ immediate futures in regards to finding jobs upon graduation, there are also promising statistics for long-term prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a $400 per week difference in earnings between those with a high school diploma and those with a bachelor’s degree.

Furthermore, Forbes states that high school graduates can expect to earn $1.2 million over the course of their career, and a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree can expect $2.1 million.
Those who earn a master’s degree are expected to make up to $2.5 million following graduation.

Although these numbers are compelling, most students agree that the benefits of college can only outweigh the costs if the student puts forth the proper amount of effort into their education. “College is only worth the money if you make the most of the resources at the college you attend” said sophomore Julia Gautho.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost for those who choose not to obtain a degree after high school. There are certain jobs that are available for those with only a high school degree including cooking, welding, and landscaping.

Although these professions may seem promising, their respective salaries are $28,570, $37,000 and $33,934 while the holder of a bachelor’s degree has an average starting salary of $45,000.

The next time you find yourself questioning your desire to earn your degree, look at these figures and reassure yourself that the benefits outweigh the costs and the money you are putting into getting your degree will be returned to you in the future.

And if these figures don’t impress you, don’t forget that you cannot put a price on education.