The Economic Perspective: “New Evidence on the Economic Benefits of College”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at new evidence on the economic benefits of college.  Mike, as college costs have risen, there’s been more focus on the financial benefits of going to college.   What does the latest information show?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • Have a new study from the Federal Reserve with some concerning results
  • Shows the financial gain from going to college has been falling
  • For many, there’s still a benefit, but it is not as high as in the past
  • One reason is simply economics – we have more young people going to college, which means employers have more to choose from
  • Also, of course, the costs of college have increased, particularly with debt
  • Aftermath from Great Recession has also had an impact – wages grew much slower than for previous generations
  • Bottom line – a college degree still opens many doors, but plan carefully to choose best major, minimize debt, and graduate on time

I’m MW