College tuition rates have been rapidly increasing in the United States since the 1980s. As the costs of obtaining a college education continue to rise and increasingly require many students to take out loans and graduate with substantial debt, the question of whether or not college is really worth the price tag has begun to be discussed more frequently. A recent article on VoxEU presents estimates that a college degree has a risk-adjusted value between $225,000 and $600,000. While earnings for college grads have become more volatile over time, degree holders are are less likely to experience unemployment than their degree-less counterparts, and even conservative estimates for the returns to earnings for a college degree compared to its cost are still positive.
The merits of obtaining a college education have long been discussed, and the topic has been increasingly debated over the past decade, as college tuition rates continue to skyrocket and seem to indicate no signs of stopping. Student loans and the debt burden many students face upon exiting college continue to present a significant risk to graduates entering the work force with uncertain economic conditions. With the struggles of graduates during the Great Recession to find employment and maximize the return on their degrees, many have become wary of making a significant, costly investment in a college degree. However, with the significant return on investment and well-documented benefits of possessing a college degree, hopefully fewer and fewer students will start to view the prospect of spending on a college education as a risky investment.