questionsIn light of the continued struggle for many to attend college to better their futures, many people are beginning to question whether college is really worth it. Do people with a degree actually make more than those without? Is the cost of student loan debt worth a bump in salary? Does borrowing to attend college ever balance out in the long run? New data suggest the answer is, yes.

The Numbers Are In

According to a study conducted  by the Economics Policy Institute, those with four-year college degrees make 98% more an hour compared to those without a degree. That number rose from 89% only five short years ago, meaning the pay gap is expanding. The average hourly wage for a degreed individual rose to $32.60, while the average hourly wage for non-degreed individuals fell by 5% to $16.50. So what does this mean?

Essentially, these numbers indicate that a four-year degree is at an all time high in terms of value.  Degreed employees are in higher demand in many career fields and employers are willing to pay for them. Contrary to some recent criticism, the job market is not saturated  by degreed employees, rather, the need for these employees is growing. If this weren’t the case the pay gap would be shrinking, which it is not.

What About Debt ?

While it is true that student loan debt balances are rapidly becoming a problem, it isn’t a simple problem. There are many factors that contribute to financial burden at the hands of student loan debt payments. Not everyone that graduates with a large loan balance fall on hard times, many people are balancing this expense well enough. For many the costs of attending college are likely to earn them $500,000 more in a lifetime than those without a degree, far more than the costs of repaying a loan. However, not everyone is as fortunate. For those that do  have trouble with student loan debt the causes are typically unavoidable circumstances, like job loss or medical illness. Fortunately, student loan lawyers can help debtors find solutions.

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