A College Degree is Worth It

By Brad Stamm on July 18, 2017

There may be naysayers out there who say that getting a college degree isn't worth the cost. Let's think about that again. This is a fallacy that should be critically evaluated by those currently in college or those considering pursuing a degree.

There is Cost

Over time, the costs of attending a four-year institution have risen more than almost all other industries and faster than the rate of inflation.

This can be explained by Baumol's cost disease theory where rising wages outstrip gains in productivity in industries such as theatre, symphonic music, health care and education. It takes as long and requires as many musicians to perform Beethoven's 9th Symphony today as it did nearly 100 years ago. And in a typical classroom setting, the same professor who taught thirty students 25 years ago is teaching the same number of students today.

Wages have risen in the economy as a whole over the years. This has caused similar increases in wages for professors, administrators and staff unaccompanied by few gains in efficiency. The fact that we "feel" that education and healthcare are overpriced is not exaggerated.

You can't obtain efficiencies in health services and education like you can in the transportation and communications industries. Transportation and communications benefit from both economies of scale and applications of technology that reduce costs for the consumer. Even online education has provided few, if any, costs savings to institutions.

With unemployment at 4.4% and the ability to find a decent paying job without a bachelor's degree, why would anyone decide to both spend, and oftentimes borrow, a significant amount of money for their education?

The answer is both quantitative and qualitative.

Heightened Lifelong Value

On average, those with a bachelor's degree accrue $1 million more over their working life than those without. Doing some simple math reveals that the present value of that $1 million over a 20-year period is the equivalent of $376,000 today. This is so much more than your investment in your degree.

On the qualitative side, in particular when it comes to Cornerstone University, we are focused on providing the academic and career skills necessary to assist you in your pursuit of a meaningful Christ-centered life and vocation. "Building a life that matters" not only has personal benefits to our students. It also has the positive spillover effect of nourishing our society and world that desperately needs both grace and truth.

Return on Investment

An investment in a college degree provides a solid return on investment. So when considering an associate, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, don't simply look at the costs. Understand the benefits that will flow to you and those around you for years to come.

A Degree Evaluated with Value

A college degree is worth it. From a positive ROI to meaningful professional development rates, pursuing an education has great value. For example, did you know that college graduates age 25-32 earn $17,000 more each year than those who didn't graduate college? What would you do with that extra income?


Category: Why College