Increasingly around the nation, there is a growing sentiment that a college education isn’t worth one’s time or money. These opinions persist even as data show us time and time again that with increased education comes increased earnings over a person’s lifetime, and that’s just one of the many benefits a higher education can provide.
Would-be students are flooded with far-reaching stories on extreme student debt and anecdotes of students with degrees returning to low-wage jobs after graduation. Online personalities profess the ease of earning a living without a certificate or degree and that their followers “can do it too.” These tales and others are creating a compelling but false counter-narrative to the reality of higher education.
A soon-to-be-released report from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute illustrates the reality that an individual’s investment in their education can be the best investment they make in their lifetime to increase their earnings and improve their lives and the outcomes of their family for generations to come.
Since this editorial was published, the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute report was released. View the USHE Data Book: The Costs and Benefits of Higher Education now.