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Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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New Study Figures the Worth of a College Degree

The gap between a college and high-school diploma for full-time, salaried workers at least 25 years-old is 78 percent.

| BY Donald Liebenson

There is no question. When Affluent household surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner are asked if a college education is necessary in today’s workplace, more than eight-in-ten said yes. When asked if their college education contributed to their success, nine-in-ten said yes. But with rising tuition costs, mounting student debt and a challenging job market that leaves a majority of college graduates either unemployed or under-employed, one question gaining traction is: Is college worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes, according to data calculated by Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York blog, Liberty Street Economics. “Despite what appears to be a set of alarming trends,” they write, the value of a bachelor’s degree for the average graduate has held near its all time high of about $300,000 for more than a decade.

The value of a four-year college degree has rebounded after plummeting from about $120,000 in the early 1970s to about 80,000 in the 1980s, Abel and Deitz estimate. There is a negative cash flow during the first four college years, followed by a positive cash flow during one’s working career, the researchers state.

They also show that today it takes half as long to recoup the costs of a bachelor’s degree—about 10 years--than it did in the late 1970s.

Other studies would seem to indicate that beyond whether one can afford to attain a bachelor’s degree, another question is whether they can afford not to. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gap between a college and high-school diploma for full-time, salaried workers at least 25 years-old is 78 percent.

Consideration of the worth of a college degree has become more parsed in recent years, with studies finding that some college degrees are worth more than others. Roughly four-in-ten Affluent households surveyed by Millionaire Corner said that the degrees offered is one of the primary factors considered in choosing a college. This consideration ranks behind quality of education, reputation and cost.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.