Although the cost of college has continued to rise above the inflation rate, students across the country are confident that higher education is a valuable investment in their future. According to a new poll by SIFE USA and Wells Fargo, about 71% of individuals who took out student loans believe the cost of college will be worth it when they enter the job market. Additionally, 78% said they would rather take out these hefty student loans than not go to college.
Various studies have shown these students are correct in seeing higher education as a lucrative investment, despite its high cost. Typically, individuals pay $6,000 out of pocket for college, while forgoing about $94,000 in earnings, the Pew Research Center reports. However, college graduates tend to earn $650,000 more than high school graduates over the course of their careers. Therefore, when the cost and forgone earnings of attending college are taken into account, higher education brings a net payoff of $550,000.
Many students see college as a valuable investment. Anthony P. Carnevale, the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, told The New York Times that his research has drawn similar conclusions. For Americans who wish to live a middle-class lifestyle, college is becoming a necessity.
"Americans need to understand that the good jobs that require only a high school education are gone and will not be coming back," Carnevale said.