The Priceless Value of a College Degree

The cost of college tuition has skyrocketed in recent years. And within a few months, we’ll find out if interest rates on federal loans are going to double.

It’s always been tough paying for college, but it was always deemed a necessity because a college degree was well worth it.

Today, a lot of people say that’s not the case anymore. They say it’s not worth the tens of – sometimes hundreds – of thousands of dollars. They say that you should just dive right into the work force and start earning instead of learning.

Some of them can sound convincing, but all of them are wrong.

This article will lay out in clear terms why having a college degree is still one of the most important things in life you can do.

– Scott

What’s the Long-term Value of Getting a College Degree Degree?

Finding a job is difficult, even when unemployment numbers are good.

But let’s step back and actually look at unemployment numbers as they relate to college degrees.

Currently, the unemployment rate for those with a college degree is 3.8%. Now compare that to the unemployment rate for those without a college degree: 7.4%.

Not even close. So even if you are fresh out of college, you are more than twice more likely to land a job than those without a degree.

Now let’s talk about lifetime earnings with or without a college degree.

According to a recent Georgetown University study…

  • A high school dropout can expect to earn $973,000 in their lifetime.
  • A high school diploma holder can expect to earn $1.3 million in their lifetime.
  • An Associate’s degree holder will earn about $1.7 million in their lifetime.
  • A worker with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $2.3 million in their lifetime.

That’s a $1 million difference, and I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want an extra $1 million.

Now, factor the time it takes me earn this lifetime income into the above figures.

For example, a college degree holder can earn their $2.3 million in less time because annual earnings are significantly higher. Also, they are likely to have a retirement fund – an IRA, life insurance policy, etc. – waiting for them when they retire. And when they do, those retirement funds will pay them.

Those without college degrees are likely to earn less annually. And that makes saving for retirement more difficult. Most will likely have to keep working into their retirement years because they will not have saved enough when they reach their 60s.

These numbers are sobering reminders of the importance of getting a college degree – even as they are getting more expensive every year.

That is why it is critical that a student chooses their colleges and fields of study carefully and maximize every opportunity to get financial aid besides loans.

For example, shop around for schools that offer great financial aid packages in addition to a quality education. That combination of low student debt and high-income job will put you far ahead the rest of the pack of recent college graduates.

With research and smart decisions about your college choice, the value of a college degree will in most cases exceed its price tag.

To Your Family’s Successful College Search,

Scott Weingold
Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC
Publisher, – The free educational resource of College Planning Network


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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.