College Pays Off, College Board Finds

January 15, 2020

The median annual earnings for bachelor's degree holders (with no advanced degree) who worked full-time in 2018 was $24,900 more than wages of their peers who held only high school credentials.

Those were among the findings of a report from the College Board, the nonprofit testing giant, which every three years examines earning and employment patterns among adults in the U.S. The report includes variations by characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, occupation, college major and sector.

The unemployment rate for people age 25 and older who hold at least a bachelor’s degree has consistently been about half the unemployment rate for high school graduates, according to the College Board.

"The typical four-year college graduate who enrolls at age 18 and graduates in four years can expect to earn enough relative to a high school graduate by age 33 to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years and for borrowing the full tuition and fees and books and supplies without any grant aid," the report found.

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