Is a College Education Still Worth the Money?

The value of a college degree has come under fire recently.  Articles in Time Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal have all called into question the value of spending an enormous sum to send your child to college.
This got me thinking.  Could these publications be right?  Is a college degree still worth the money?

And here is the answer I found…

”Yes! “ A college degree is absolutely still worth the money.

And here is why…

#1 – According to a study, the median debt owed by a bachelor’s degree graduate is about $20,000.  Less is owed for an in-state public school and more is owed for a private university.

When you compare this college undergrad debt figure to the average cost of buying a car, which is $28,400 according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, college seems like an excellent deal.  Since a college degree will almost always provide ever increasing economic, social, and personal value over time.

Whereas a car starts to lose its value the minute you drive it off the lot.  With the car eventually become totally useless.

When you compare the cost of a car versus a college degree, it is no contest.  Yet, most people don’t even think twice about the average cost of a car.

#2 – A recent report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that jobs requiring an advanced level of education will far outpace workers qualified for those positions in the next 8 years. As it stands right now, 60% of available jobs require some type of advanced level of education.

#3 – Increased job security. Data from the Economic Modeling Specialists, shows that 8 out of the top 10 occupations that lost jobs from 2007 to 2009 were ones that didn’t require a college degree.   Having a college degree gives your child more job security.

#4 – A college degree is needed to stay competitive with the rest of the world. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization reports that college enrollment worldwide has increased by more than 53 million people from 2003 to 2007.  That is enormous competition for the available jobs in the United States.

But when looking at college as a return on investment, there are still a few BIG factors parents need to keep in mind.

Such as…

Getting the best deal on a college education can make an enormous difference. One of the biggest things we preach is that parents and students need to shop the market for the best deal.  And not get locked in on just one college.  The differences in financial aid, merit based aid, and total costs can vary widely from college to college.

How many years it takes to graduate. This can have a huge factor on how much return on investment you get for your kids college education.  A U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics study found that 64% of kids entering college take more then 4 years to graduate college.

Every additional year over 4 years adds an enormous cost to your kid’s college bill.

Students finish in more than 4 years for a variety of reasons, including…

  1. They take time off to work
  2. They work while in school
  3. They change majors
  4. They decide to change to a different school

Kids and parents who spend the time and effort prior to college researching and exploring a plan to get in and out in 4 years will get significantly more bang for their buck.

Until next time,

Scott Weingold
Related Articles:

What’s the Value of a College Education Today?

Colleges with the Best Return on Investment

The Actual Cost of College

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1 Comment

ralph laurenSeptember 6th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Hello,Can i take a one small picture from your blog?Have a nice day
This was brilliant.

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.