To go to college or to not go to college, that is the question. And one you definitely wouldn’t find yourself asking if you lived in the early seventies.


But with tuition climbing higher than inflation and student debt skyrocketing, it’s no surprise “alarming trends” like these are deterring high school seniors from the university’s admissions office.


However, a recent analysis run by Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz of the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York, suggests a 4-year degree might be worth it after all.


The study compared the costs and benefits of the average college graduate to the value of those with only a high school diploma, calculating the “net present value” of a college degree (the extra wages a person earns for having a degree, minus the cost and time of going to college).


What they discovered was a bachelor’s degree for the average college graduate has held an all-time high of $300,000 despite drifting during the Great Recession. Compare that with $80,000 from the 1980’s (more than triple the amount) and dedicating 4 years to higher education for a shiny diploma at the end doesn’t sound so bad.


In fact, during the 1970’s it took graduates roughly 25 years to make up for the costs of obtaining a bachelor’s degree where as today it takes about 10, the study shows.


So while some might believe a traditional college education is no longer valuable, the new data suggests otherwise.

Andreina is 20to30’s social media and production associate sharing millennial soundbites across the web.

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