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Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs?

Jaison Abel () and Richard Deitz ()

Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 2013

Abstract: In recent years, students have been paying more to attend college and earning less upon graduation?trends that have led many observers to question whether a college education remains a good investment. However, an analysis of the economic returns to college since the 1970s demonstrates that the benefits of both a bachelor?s degree and an associate?s degree still tend to outweigh the costs, with both degrees earning a return of about 15 percent over the past decade. The return has remained high in spite of rising tuition and falling earnings because the wages of those without a college degree have also been falling, keeping the college wage premium near an all-time high while reducing the opportunity cost of going to school.

Keywords: college education; economic return (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J20 J24 J30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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