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Understanding the Attributes: Was College a Good Value For the Money?

Graduates Get Their Money’s Worth

With discretionary incomes under extreme pressure and prices for higher education escalating with seemingly no end in sight, it has never been more important to understand the real value of a college education.

The reason most alumni (roughly 75%) rate their college as a good value is because it truly was – a college education is a high-return investment in today’s market. Whatever the cost of the college education, the typical graduate more than offsets that expense with incremental earnings over their lifetime. A school’s “list price” may be much higher than the actual price the typical student pays to attend. You will see this estimated “Net Price” for each college on the College Summaries in Chapter 11.

Chapter 5 illustrates the large economic advantage bestowed upon college graduates versus non-graduates regardless of the net price. However, the economic advantage gained by graduates over those with no college degree has little or no correlation to the price of the college. Lower-priced schools often yield graduates who are just as successful and equally as happy.


Nike Roshe