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Is College a good investment?

Insight from NY OpenIDEO Meetup, October 15th

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We had a really rich and lively discussion at our OpenIDEO NY meetup yesterday. We had a group of 18 people, a mix of students (mostly grads and a undergrad) from 4 different universities, one faculty and an administrator. Different themes were discussed and we had some amazing insights brought by the participants. One theme that emerged was: return on investment for college education

Many students decide to go to college to get a good job at the end. They believe that having a degree will allow them to have higher salaries. And they are not wrong. Studies have shown that the variance in wage is significant. “Wage premiums for those who earn a graduate degree are even higher, between 75 percent and 105 percent over the premiums for those who earn a high school diploma only” (

However, the question is “Is College a good monetary investment? When you consider all the costs involved in having a Loan, does the math makes sense?”

Several of our participants noted that after finishing their undergraduate studies, looking at their debts and the kind of jobs they could get, they wondered if that paying that much made sense.


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Personally, I think college is a great investment. It gives you an experience that you will never forget but also allows you to network at a higher level. It sets up a very bright future for you where you can move up the ladder at different firms and have stability in life. This type of monetary investment has a lot of benefit in the end.

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Hi Azeem! Thank you for your comment. We agree with you. College experience is very unique for most of the students. The participants' analysis focused on financial returns, but there are other factors that need to be considered when analyzing the college investment. We had limited time on our meetup, but I believe you brought up an important point. Thanks.

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