According to PayScale, the average college student graduates with ten-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. With students, parents, and policymakers all trying to process what a college education is really worth, the prospective job market is something to take into serious consideration.
After all, paying for college may be the biggest financial decision in young adults’ lives today. Getting a good return on investment and having a large salary potential are seemingly becoming more and more important for prospective and current college students.
These factors, however, are not all that go into the decision.
“This isn’t to say that students should only pursue majors with the highest earning potential or make decisions about where to attend school based solely off College ROI Report rankings,” PayScale said. “But it makes sense to provide as much information as possible to 18-year-olds signing on the dotted line for student loans… loans they may not even be certain they can pay back.”
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Similar to research in the past, PayScale‘s 2018 report reveals that colleges that attract many STEM degree students (studying science, technology, engineering, and math) have the most graduate earning potential.
TIME Money reported that the data came from Payscale’s survey respondents and used results from 1.4 million people between 2007 and 2018.
“It then measures return on investment over a 20-year period in two separate ways: both by subtracting a college’s sticker price from the 20-year earnings and by subtracting the average net price, after counting grants, from the 20-year earnings,” TIME Money said. “Those figures are then compared to the 24-year earnings of high school graduates, with the longer time period meant to cover the wages lost while a student was enrolled in college.”
The second calculation takes into account the discount rates that schools offer which lowers the cost of tuition. Getting the best value out of college continues to be a weighing point for students.
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