Education: Still Worth the Price?

Over the past few months, hundreds of newspapers, blogs, and commentators have asked whether college is the next bubble. Most come to the same answer: Maybe.

What school are you going to? Who’s paying? What’s your degree? How’s the economy? For some, higher education is indeed a bubble, in the sense that the benefits will never exceed the costs. For others — maybe most — it’s still a worthwhile investment.

Those with a college degree outearn those with only a high school diploma by a long shot. In 2009, the average wage of a college grad was about double those who only finished high school. Since the early 1990s, college grads have seen their real (inflation adjusted) incomes stay roughly flat, while the high-school-only group has seen a decline of about 10%. It pays to have a college education. No doubt about it.

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