True Value of a Degree

Jen Timmins,
Loan Manager

According to a recent Bloomberg article, many college graduates are pessimistic about the return on their investment in a degree.

The growing costs of paying for college, coupled with the misconception that graduates should be pulling a hefty salary straight out of school, are leaving consumers skeptical about the value of a college education.

Yet time and time again, data show that earning a college degree is very well worth it, and that graduates will see the benefit of a degree over time.

Below are some interesting facts to keep in mind:

  1. The difference in the average income level of someone at least 25 years old with a bachelor’s degree is on average $30,264 as opposed to the salary of a high school graduate.
  2. The unemployment rate is significantly lower for those with a bachelor’s degree vs. a high school diploma (4 percent vs. 12 percent, respectively). The same is true of those living in poverty; 22 percent of high school graduates live at or below the poverty line, while only 6 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher do.
  3. Over the past four decades, those with a bachelor’s degree have tended to earn 56 percent more than high school graduates, and those with an associate’s degree have tended to earn 21 percent more than high school graduates.
  4. A Pew Research study found that on some key measures, the largest and most striking disparities between college graduates and those with less education surface in the Millennial generation. Millennials with at least a Bachelor’s Degree earn $17,500 more than Millennials with a high school education, a wage gap that is significantly larger than years prior, and continuing to grow.

When families turn to their financial institution to help them through major life events (such as sending a child off to college), they are seeking experts who can answer their questions and put their minds at ease.  What sets credit unions apart from other lenders are personalized solutions for their members and education about their financial decisions. That education extends beyond the simple math of a loan. It includes teaching members about credit scores, repayment options, and a true understanding of the loan agreement into which they enter.

Serve Credit Union’s student loan partner, CU Student Choice, for instance, works with online financial literacy resource iGrad assisting students and their families to make effective personal finance, student loan, and career decisions.

This online portal featuring financial literacy tools for college students and recent graduates helps before, during, and after the college years, providing resources and information on schools, career paths, budgeting, workplace expectations – and even an interactive job bank to help graduates find employment in cities across the country.

Whether you’re a student going off to college, or the parent of a college student, be sure to keep YOUR credit union in mind when it comes to financing your futures.  We offer competitive loan consolidation options and issue private student loans to help fill the funding gaps that may exist after all lower-cost sources of aid (including scholarships, grants, and federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans) have been exhausted. And, since we’re YOUR credit union, we work for YOU—so you know we’ll always work to ensure you’re taking advantage of the best solutions.