Overall, people with a college education do better in the labor market than people with no education beyond high school. Higher levels of education correspond, on average, to higher levels of employment and higher wages. Yet, as college prices rise and as examples of graduates struggling to find remunerative employment despite their credentials become more visible, both potential students and the general public are questioning the value of a college education.
The data, however, remain clear: even at current prices, postsecondary education pays off for most people. Promising occupational and personal opportunities are disproportionately available to college graduates. It is increasingly difficult to maintain a middle class lifestyle without a postsecondary credential, and the economic, social, and civic benefits of a more educated population are well documented.