Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Average American Made This Much Last Year, by Level of Education -- How Do You Compare? -- The Motley Fool

The Average American Made This Much Last Year, by Level of Education -- How Do You Compare? -- The Motley Fool:

The Average American Made This Much Last Year, by Level of Education -- How Do You Compare?

The benefits of a degree are astounding over a lifetime.

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FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN, THROWING YOUR HAT IN THE AIR CAN MEAN A SIGNIFICANT BUMP IN INCOME.






If you recently graduated from college -- or forked over thousands for one of your children to do so -- you're well aware of the cost-inflation taking place in higher education. The College Board estimates that the average cost of tuition, room, and board at a public school has increased almost 140% since 1974, after taking inflation into account.
That's a massive increase, and it rightly causes many students and parents to wonder whether or not pursuing higher education is worth the investment. But after crunching the numbers from the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the verdict is clear: Education beyond high school is clearly worth the investment.
The figures below represent household income before taxes and the highest level of education that someone in the household has attained determines classification.
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The difference between those who only complete high school and those who complete their bachelor's is striking: more than twice as much income.
What's more: the average out-of-pocket cost for tuition, room, and board at a four-year public institution is roughly $19,000 this year. The difference in income between a high school graduate and college graduate in one year alone -- $45,000 -- justifies the costs of going to a four-year public university.
Short vs. long-term concernsOf course, there are caveats to the data above. For instance, the income of each group represents the mean, or average. That means that those who are high earners -- think CEOs -- disproportionately bring the average up. Those who are older do the same thing, as they are further along their career earnings arc.
Consequently, the recent graduate with her bachelor's degree is unlikely to be earning the average of $85,000. In fact, a recent study by National Association of Colleges and Employers found that the average starting salary for a graduate of the class of 2014 was just $45,000.
When you consider that those who enter the labor force right out of high school have been earning money for four or five years by the time their peers graduate from college -- and that they didn't have to take on so much student debt -- it's easy to see why skipping college altogether might make economic sense to some.
But that's taking the short-term view. Those who attended for-profit colleges and universities The Average American Made This Much Last Year, by Level of Education -- How Do You Compare? -- The Motley Fool:

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