A degree is a sound investment

A new poll suggests that college has long-term financial benefits.

While the news bombards students with reports on rising debt and tuition, a new poll suggests that there is a rising cost in skipping college. The Pew Research Center released a report this month that showed that the pay gap between college graduates and their peers has grown since the 1960s.

The report results show that, among 25- to 32-year-olds, college graduates’ average annual income is $17,500 more than those who did not get a bachelor’s degree. The pay gap has increased since the 1960s and has more than doubled since Pew began measuring.

The report also suggested the benefits of a degree didn’t stop at finances. College graduates were also more likely to report more satisfaction in their jobs and confidence in advancing professionally.

The report provides hope for the many college students who get a degree in order to make more money. In a 2012 Higher Education Research Institute survey, about three in four college students polled said making more money was very important to them.

However, a college education is far more than a promise of more income. A degree is an investment in a student to learn and develop, which has numerous benefits. For example, college students have a higher voter turnout and volunteer more than their peers. While higher education is a privilege, students should also understand their degree as a holistic investment.

However, with increasing student debt and tuition rates nationwide, this new report is a welcome reminder that getting a degree is worth the initial cost if students can afford it.