You’ve always heard it. People who go to college earn more money. Is that accurate? It turns out that it is. Statistically, college graduates earn more over their careers than those who stopped at a high school diploma and certainly more than those who didn’t graduate high school. And the higher the degree, the more money they make.
Compare a high school graduate to a college graduate. Over the course of a life time a college graduate will earn $2.1 million dollars while a high school graduate can expect to earn on average roughly $1.2 million. What about higher degrees? Someone with a masters degree earns about $2.5 million. Those who have earned their PhD can expect an average of $3.4 million. These numbers come from a report called THE BIG PAYOFF published by the Census Bureau.
Let’s look a little deeper at these numbers. Those who drop out of high school earn about $18,900 a year. High school graduates make around $25,900. However a college graduate can expect to make, again, on average, about $45,000 while doctors, dentists, lawyers and other with professional degrees can expect about $99,300. So the gap between a high school drop out and a professional degree earner is approximately $80,000 every single year! That is quite a gap.
Getting that degree is not easy but it has become easier. We aren’t talking diploma mills. It will require studying, doing homework and proving that you have mastered the material by passing tests. Think you don’t have time for college? There are new ways to go to school. There are many online programs available for working adults that will allow you to obtain your higher degree at your pace, while working and from anywhere that you have an internet connection and a computer.
So is online education right for you? First you need to identify your plans and goals. Once you know what your specific goals are, you need to find an online college with a program that can help you meet those goals. Make sure you talk to friends and family and see if anyone you know has gone to school online. A recommendation from a successful graduate is a good place to start. Double check that the school you’re considering is an accredited institution and that you’ll be able to transfer the units you earn should you decide to.
You’ve picked a road to follow and have a school that is going to help you get there. Now how do you pay for this new adventure? You may already have discovered the answer while you were researching potential schools. There should be a Financial Aid department at your chosen school. They can help you put together a plan to finance your degree. Don’t allow the word AID to get in your way. It’s not about handouts. There are financial aid advisors who are well versed in how to pay for higher education through loans, scholarships, grants and cash payments. Ask your financial aid advisor a lot of questions and make sure that you feel comfortable with their expertise. He or she can be every bit as vital to your success as your academic advisor.
It is possible to increase your earnings by getting a high school diploma, bachelors degree, masters degree, or PhD, but you have to do your homework first. You must know what your goals are, what degree you want, how much it’s going to cost and how you’re going to pay for it. Once you have that mastered you will be on your way to completing the homework need to obtain your degree. Study your options and study hard!