According to the College Board, the unemployment rate for someone without a college degree is 10.3%, and 14.9% if you did not graduate high school at all. From a young age we are impressed with the importance of a college education. I remember asking my parents in middle school why I needed good grades, and the answer was so that I could one day get into college and get a degree.
But what is the value of college education these days? College education statistics routinely show that those who go to college make more than those who do not. The College Board reports that those with a high school degree make on average $32,000. Those with a bachelors degree make on average $53,000.
The truth is, the value of a college education is going to vary from person to person.
- It is as valuable as what you get from it.
- It is as valuable as what you paid for it.
Pretend for a moment that you enrolled in a university degree program, but it primarily employed sub-par teachers. You graduate, but you feel like you know nothing more than when you graduated high school. What was the point? What was the value? You might consider that the value of a college education can be equated to the skills and knowledge you develop while there.
The U.S. Department of Education reports that 14.9 million individuals go to public degree granting institutions. In comparison, only 5.7 million go to private degree granting institutions. Public colleges compared to private colleges are much cheaper, but private colleges are often better recognized and revered on resumes. The trade-off there is how much student loan debt you end up accruing. A free online university degree might be more valuable, if you get to graduate with minimal debt, as well as with the skills that you need to be successful in a career.
The value of college education is ultimately a combination of many factors. If you are an heiress, then the value of a college education is going to be neither here, nor there. If you need to take out loans to go to all four years of college, then the value of your education will be something to seriously weigh and examine. Decide what a college education means to you, and you will have a benchmark for measuring your higher education options.