Is College Worth It?


Is your college degree worth it?

In this fragile economic time, parents and students can be forgiven for questioning what the real value of a college degree is.   Can we make enough $$$ in our careers not just to pay back the loans we graduate with, but enough to recapture our total investment?

Many families look to US News and World Reports rankings to assist in the process. Of all the metrics that are used ,one metric that’s not listed is what the real “payback” is.  How long does it take to recoup this giant investment and in the long run, do you really get your $$’s worth??

Marketwatch did a calculation called the “payback score”, where they  measured  50 of the country’s most expensive schools to see which ones give have the highest payback immediately after graduation and 15 years later.

Although the Ivies are definitely on the list, state universities are way up there too. Georgia Tech and the universities of Florida, Texas and Georgia  are leading the way.  For many of you contemplating more expensive schools, these numbers are really worth looking at.  Naturally, students who enter careers such as teaching, government work and the arts, will almost always lag their peers in the sciences.

One statistic that I almost never hear mentioned, which is measured in the USNWR survey, is which colleges  graduate students with the HIGHEST and LOWEST amount of debt.

For the least debt, it’s UC Berkeley, along with MIT, Pomona, Barnard, and BU, NYU, and La Sierra for the most.

Cross reference both these lists and UC Berkeley pops up on both. So including all other factors, both these lists should be cross referenced to make a truly informed financial decision.

This blog was provided by Sheryl Marshall, a financial correspondent on Boston’s NPR station, WGBH radio. Sheryl Marshall was a guest on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College” on March 16th, 2013.  Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.

Photo Credit: roger4336

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