The Financial Benefits of a College Degree
Last updated December 7, 2023
It’s totally normal to question whether college is worth the financial investment, as tuition across the U.S. continues to increase and the job market remains unpredictable. While these are real concerns, it’s also important to consider just how many great benefits there are of attending college– especially financially. Here are some financial benefits of attaining a college degree!
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Higher lifetime earnings
Whether you choose to work towards a bachelor’s or associate degree or decide to earn your degree through a trade or technical program, a college education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment in the long run. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bachelor’s degree holders typically have higher long-term earning potential than those with a high school diploma; in 2021, they on average earned nearly $2,100 more dollars per month - at least $27,000 more per year!
This doesn’t mean you have to choose between only working over only going to college, because you can always do both! Many students have a job while attending college to help pay for any expenses for their school, family, and other financial responsibilities. However, it’s important to know how to balance school and work to prevent feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. Overall, going to college and earning your degree could result in higher lifetime earning potential - which can mean more opportunities for career advancement.
More job opportunities
Having a college degree opens you up to many more job opportunities that might not be available with just a high school diploma. In a competitive job market, your degree not only shows that you have a deeper understanding of your chosen major, but you also developed critical thinking and problem solving skills, can communicate effectively, and are able to work well in team settings - all of which you’ll learn how to do in college. Additionally, some professions in industries like medicine, engineering, or law often require specific degrees as a minimum qualification for entry. With a college degree, you are more likely to be considered for higher-level positions and higher-paying jobs than someone without a degree.
Access to more resources
Going to college will give you access to many resources that will help set you up for success both as a student and after you graduate. The career center is one of them, where you can access the school’s online job portal, talk to an advisor to help draft your resume and cover letter, or find a job or internship in a field you’re interested in. Other campus resources you have access to include learning or tutoring centers, counseling services, disability resource centers, and more. These resources are typically covered by your school fees, so we encourage you to take advantage of them!
Grow your professional network
Building your professional network is important to finding a job and advancing in your career, and college is a great way to begin building that network. Professors and advisors can offer you guidance about different career paths related to the major you choose and can connect you to other professionals in that field - potentially leading to future job or internship opportunities! Also, your college community - like friends, mentors, counselors, and more - can contribute towards building your network. All of these connections can also serve as professional references when it’s time for you to apply for a job. By forming these relationships, you can expand your knowledge, gain new perspectives, and learn about career opportunities that you may not have considered otherwise.
Is going to college worth it?
While the potential benefits of going to college are clear, the cost of attending - including tuition, room and board, and other expenses - can quickly add up. However, financial aid is available to help make college more affordable.
When deciding which college to apply to, and ultimately where to enroll, it can be overwhelming to figure out which colleges are a good financial fit. If you don’t know where to start, uAspire has developed a list of financially safer colleges - a list of both public and private universities that offer better financial outcomes to its students in terms of cost, net price, debt and repayment rates, and graduation rates. While this shouldn’t discourage you from applying to other colleges, adding a few schools from uAspire's list can give you more options to choose from and provide you with a better chance of attending a college that’s financially feasible for you and your family.The cost of going to college can be daunting, but earning a college degree is a smart investment into your future. If you have any questions, we're here for you! Just text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!