For those individuals who are thinking about attending college or graduate school, there are many things to consider. From which school to attend to deadlines, one must devote lot of time and energy to this endeavor. The price tag of course weighs heavily on one's decision to attend this or that school and even whether to attend at all. With the average cost of tuition, fees, room and board being $29,026 at four-year private colleges and universities, and $12,127 at four-year public colleges and universities,1 the cost of attendance is sure to cause a moment of pause and even dissuade one from attending. Graduate or professional school can cost even more. However, the cost of attendance is not the only thing to consider. Rather than focusing on the present or even immediate future, that is, paying the costs of college or graduate school tuition, one should bear in mind the benefits of investing so much into higher education.
Many individuals are aware of the fact that higher education greatly increases career and financial opportunities. A college or graduate degree vastly improves one's chances of achieving goals than a high school diploma. In fact, merely having a high school diploma significantly limits one's prospects. A college or graduate degree will open doors and provide you with the tools necessary to make your dreams of upward mobility a reality.
Aside from the social leverage one can wield by holding a college diploma or advanced degree, the monetary potentials far outweigh the initial investment. The graph below demonstrates this point. Listed are the median annual incomes according to level of education. Another piece of insightful information is the percentage of individuals holding each type of degree who are unemployed.
As you can see, the benefits of a higher education are twofold. First, the higher the level of education an individual has, the higher the annual income she or he earns. Second, an individual lowers their risk of unemployment by obtaining a higher education degree. So think of it this way: Even if you end up with a high amount of debt after you graduate, you'll earn that back in just a couple of years.
Remember, anything you invest in higher education now will give you a huge return in more ways than one.
In a time of hardship, EdFed was quick to help me lower my monthly payments by $397. Now I am happy to say I am thriving in life without the burden of student loans on my shoulders. - Gerry F. Phoenix, AZ