Is college worth it?



Everyone knows that going to college leads to higher salaries. But just how much does it earn you? This is a question that has plagued me as I amass student debt over four years here at the University of San Diego, a school not typically associated with frugality.

The over-$40,000 tuition and all the other costs of living and being a student in San Diego make me wonder if it is all worth it. With graduation coming faster than I would like, I have my fingers crossed that the four years I spent here will pay off.

eBay Deals has published an encouraging study that reveals exactly how much college is worth. They compiled median annual salary data from a variety of young adults with various levels of education, ranging from a high school diploma to professional degrees such as a medical degree.

According to the study, my business degree will earn me nearly $1.2 million more than a high school graduate over the course of my career. Engineers will pull in the most at a whopping $2.1 million. Visual and performing arts rake in a smaller but respectable $600,000 over their lifetime. USD’s tuition is suddenly more reasonable when considering these payment streams.

The study broke it down further and calculated how much extra money you can earn from good grades and how much money each lecture you attend equates to. Each lecture you choose to attend, no matter how boring, will earn you on average $584. And while Cs get degrees, each C you get will earn you only $25,468 compared to the $42,313 you will earn from an A or B. So next time you settle for a C, beware that you are giving up nearly $17,000.

All those assignments I skipped and readings I neglected are starting to look like bad decisions. At the same time, all the late nights and early mornings should pay off. Thankfully, all the Redbull and coffee that masked my sleep-deprivation and fueled my late night studying should pay for itself.

College, from a purely economic standpoint, is worth it. Despite various criticisms that the expenses of college now outweigh the benefits, this analysis proves otherwise.

Money aside, college was already worth it. In my opinion, this experience has gotten me much more than potential earnings. I came to college not just to make money. I came for the experience and for the opportunity to pursue my goals. In those aspects alone, college has been invaluable.

Check out to see how each major stacks up as well as the methodology and sources that were used in the analysis.