Will Your College Degree Pay For Itself In 20 Years?

Career College Central summary:

  • High school seniors are running out of time to decide where they’ll be sending deposit checks to reserve their spots in the class of 2018. But as their parents well know, that first check, typically due May 1, is only one of many; there’ll be plenty of tuition checks to write in the years ahead.
  • College, and money that students and their families borrow to pay for it, is often thought of as an investment in students’ future careers and earnings potential. And when narrowly defined as such, it’s possible to quantify the return on that investment. (Although higher education’s value arguably exceeds any monetary return).
  • Using data from the research firm PayScale, The Economist developed an interactive chart to present the cost of different American colleges and universities (after financial aid) and the net return on investment (ROI) over 20 years, plus the annualized percent return.
  • “The return is defined as the amount that a graduate earns, minus what someone who did not attend college would earn, and minus the cost of attending college,” The Economist explains. “Thus, a wider bar is good.”

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