Calculating college benefits minus cost, or ROI

We’re dropping out more, accruing more student debt and having more trouble finding high-paying jobs. Is college worth it?

  • College tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s.
  • Student loan debt is over $1 trillion.
  • And, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, about 44 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed, and working in jobs that don’t require their degree.
  • Out-of-control student loans and a competitive job market are pushing students, parents and policymakers to try to understand the value of a college degree. One calculation to determine this value is ROI, or return on investment.
  • Payscale puts out a yearly report that calculates ROI for colleges across the U.S.. Payscale calculates ROI from the difference between an 20-year pay for a college grad and a 24-year pay for a high school grad, minus the cost for the degree.

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