Why College Is Still the Best Investment Your Child Can Make
In years past, it was hardly a debate: getting a college degree was the # 1 common-sense path toward a better future for your kids.
Despite the price tag, parents could be reasonably assured college would be worth it in the long run.
Today, the combination of skyrocketing tuition and painfully high unemployment rates has many parents questioning the value of a college degree.
And yet for most families, college is still by far the best investment a child can make – the focus of today’s story.
Why The College Degree Still Matters…Despite The Price Tag
Finding gainful employment is harder than ever, whether you have a college degree or not.
And with the collegiate price tag climbing steadily higher, it’s enough to make anybody wonder why they should invest in a college degree.
After all, why not push your kids directly into the work force, and quit wasting time and money?
There is a nearly endless supply of favorable arguments for the non-financial aspects of a college experience (personal growth, priceless relationships, etc).
But the most convincing factor is the hard numbers.
A recent study at Georgetown University took a look at unemployment rates amidst the recession, and how they relate to education.
For four-year graduates of any age, the unemployment rate sits at a relatively low 4.5 percent.
Admittedly, times are somewhat tougher for four-year graduates who are new to the workforce. 6.8 percent of recent grads are struggling to find work.
But that’s nothing compared to the difficulties faced by those with only a high school education.
Nearly 1/4th (24% to be exact) of recent graduates with only a high school diploma are currently out of work.
The numbers clearly show that no matter the state of the economy, you are better off with a college degree if you want to find a job.
The real question, however, is whether or not the income of a college grad will be worth the initial investment it takes to get that degree.
While this aspect has become a bit murkier thanks to exploding tuition rates, the numbers still favor a college education.
On average, a four year college degree adds up to an additional 1.3 million dollars in income over one’s lifetime.
Of course you could pay between $100,000 and $200,000+ for the most expensive bachelor’s degrees… if you don’t get any financial aid.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you can go out and get any degree you want and expect to happen upon an excellent pay check.
The goal is to maximize your child’s value – that’s why it is always smart to enter college with a career goal in mind.
Accounting, engineering, and business are all safe bets right now if you want to get the most out of an undergraduate education.
It’s also wise to focus in on schools that direct their spending and attention to academic pursuits – and to putting their students in a stronger position to get hired after they graduate.
Investing in your child’s education is still the best investment you can make. But like any investment you have to be smart about it and do your research.
Shop around for schools that offer financial aid packages to match a high quality education and be sure to stick with programs that result in high employment rates and income.
As long as you recognize and plan for these caveats, a college degree will almost always be worth its price tag.
To Your Family’s Successful College Search,
Co-Founder, College Planning Network, LLC
College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of the College Planning Network, LLC