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Is it still worth going to college?

Author

Listed:
  • Daly, Mary C.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Bengali, Leila

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Abstract

Earning a four-year college degree remains a worthwhile investment for the average student. Data from U.S. workers show that the benefits of college in terms of higher earnings far outweigh the costs of a degree, measured as tuition plus wages lost while attending school. The average college graduate paying annual tuition of about $20,000 can recoup the costs of schooling by age 40. After that, the difference between earnings continues such that the average college graduate earns over $800,000 more than the average high school graduate by retirement age.

Suggested Citation

  • Daly, Mary C. & Bengali, Leila, 2014. "Is it still worth going to college?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:00015
    as

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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2014/may/is-college-worth-it-education-tuition-wages/el2014-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dale, Stacy & Krueger, Alan B., 2011. "Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earning Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5533, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:mpr:mprres:6922 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hilary Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers during Recessions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 27-48, Summer.
    4. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01gf06g265z is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Flavio Cunha & Fatih Karahan & Ilton Soares, 2011. "Returns to Skills and the College Premium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 39-86, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Lindsay C. Page & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2015. "Improving College Access in the United States: Barriers and Policy Responses," NBER Working Papers 21781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Page, Lindsay C. & Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2016. "Improving college access in the United States: Barriers and policy responses," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 4-22.

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