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The Value of a College Degree

Comparing the expected yearly income of graduates and the debts they incur.

Photo of Andy Ly
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The value of a college degree is usually determine by the expected income a student makes when graduating and entering into the workforce. In a survey for the starting salary of graduates in the class of 2015, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports that the overall average salary for a graduate with a bachelor's degree is $50,651, with the highest median salary of $65,000 and lowest median salary of $27,560. (http://www.naceweb.org/uploadedFiles/Content/static-assets/downloads/executive-summary/2015-fall-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf)

In comparison, the average student-loan debt of graduates in the class of 2015 is a little more than $35,000 based on an article on the Wall Street Journal. (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/05/08/congratulations-class-of-2015-youre-the-most-indebted-ever-for-now/)

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

The expected salary a student makes after graduation plays a major role in how a student pays for college and the decision a student makes in choosing a degree can determine how easily it will be for them to pay back their student loans.

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Photo of Mohsin Momin

Thanks for your post Andy, it is really interesting to see the comparison between the cost of school and the benefits of the degree. Keeping in mind that a graduating student has many other costs and expenses, the $35,000 loan really seems massive.