[r76] The rising cost/value of an Education: Part 1 of 2 (9/13/2013)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Start Date: 9/13/2013 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/13/2013 End Time: 11:59 PM
With fall starting, many students are heading off to college to continue or even start their education. With the cost of higher education rising every year, many people are questioning the price of a four-year degree in regards to the return on investment.  However it is becoming more apparent in today’s competitive world that some kind of a degree is becoming a necessity. Unfortunately, we are graduating more college students with debt rather than with a job – and that is something that we must work to change.

There are pros and cons of a bachelor degree and an Associate’s degree. Selecting which degree to earn depends on a person’s education and career goals. The average weekly income for a bachelor degree graduate in 2012 was $1,066 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). A bachelor degree may also offer more opportunities for obtaining promotions.  The cost of obtaining this degree is the major drawback which is averaging $25,588 per academic year for public four-year schools and $62,644 for private four-year schools in 2010 (U.S. Department of Education Statistics). These prices lead to large loan debt which can place newly graduates in financial hardship while searching for a job. 

One of the major reasons many people choose an associate degree is the cost. The average cost of a public two-year was $2,527 per academic year in 2010 (U.S. Department of Education Statistics). Other pros for an associate degree include smaller class sizes compared to four year institutions and the ability to enter the work force sooner with an associate’s degree.  This is very beneficial for adults earning degrees. Draw backs for earning an associate’s degree are fewer options for advancement offered by employers later on.

Whatever the degree you choose, there are plenty of institutions to pick from in our area. Ivy Tech-Evansville and Vincennes University are both accredited two-year colleges, while the University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana are both four-year universities. College may not be for everyone, but having a fulfilling high quality job is something that everyone strives for. Next week I will discuss what we were able to accomplish this past legislative session to address the skills gap – or the opportunity gap.

While the cost of an education may be rising, the value is also rising. Educated workers are a valuable resource in any workforce and play a key role in the success of a company. 

McNamara_Memo_The rising cost value of an Education Part 1 of 2.docx