The Value of a College Degree

By Lauren Abraham

graduate holding diploma

The benefits of a college degree are many. By attending college, you will gain an invaluable education, not to mention learn the independence and basic socialization skills needed to function in the “real world.”

But what about the economic benefits? With the cost of a college education skyrocketing, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s financially worth it.

Recent studies point to an overwhelming “Yes.” On the whole, people who have a postsecondary degree earn substantially more over their careers than those who do not.

According to a report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers (Dec. 2012) analyzing Census and U.S. education statistics, average earnings only go up as the degree level increases:


Degree Level

Median Annual Income

High School Diploma $29,423
Associate’s Degree $38,607
Bachelor’s Degree $50,360
Graduate Degree $68,064

College graduates don’t just earn substantially more than those who don’t have a higher degree, but they’re also more likely to have a job in the first place.

The following shows Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2012:


Degree Level

Average Unemployment Rate

High School Diploma 8.3%
Associate’s Degree 6.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 4.5%
Graduate Degree 3.5%

At Grand Canyon University, we understand the importance of a college degree in today’s complex business world. With over 100 programs and concentrations for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, we offer well-rounded curricula designed to give students the hands-on applications needed to succeed in their chosen career paths.

GCU also recognizes that each student’s financial situation is unique. We offer viable financing solutions and generous scholarship opportunities to ensure everyone has access to an affordable, quality education.

See just how valuable–and affordable–a degree from GCU can be. To learn more information about GCU’s degree programs, visit our website or use the request more information button at the top of the page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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