Paying

Paying for College

Now is the time to really get to work preparing for college. What should you do? Many people think that the benefits received from pursuing a college education are not worth the costs.

Earnings and Unemployment rates by educational attainment, 2015

Schooling Median Usual Weekly Earnings Unemployment Rate
Professional Degree $1730 1.5%
Doctoral Degree $1,623 1.7%
Master’s Degree $1,341 2.4%
Bachelor’s Degree $1,137 2.8%
Associates’s Degree $798 3.8%
Some College, No Degree $738 5.0%
High School Diploma $678 5.4%
Less Than High School $493 8.0%
All Workers $860 4.3%

Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2010 that the mean annual earnings of high school drop outs were $30,850 while high school graduates earned $40,900.  Students with associates degrees earned $49,275 while people with bachelor’s degrees earned $69,638 and those individuals who completed professional degrees (lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) earned $143,163. Clearly, continuing your education beyond high school is something you should pursue.

Few families are easily able to afford college on their own, and few students are offered “full ride” scholarships. Most people need a “patchwork quilt” approach: you’ll get a little bit of money from lots of different sources, and together they will help you pay for college. Fortunately, there is a lot of help out there for those students who invest a bit of time and energy into figuring out the process! From federal financial aid (filing the FAFSA; www.fafsa.ed.gov) to school and community scholarships, there are dollars available for you. Don’t forget about the money you can earn working in the summers, too! You CAN afford to go to college.

Learn More: