Does it pay to pay for your kid's college? That's a question that's being raised in many circles as the recovery from the recession drags on and our college grad kids struggle to find a career job. Our sons and daughters who took out loans and now have to start repaying them--without a job to help them do it--are questioning whether they should have racked up that debt. And those of us who invested in our children's college education may be wondering how wise it was to put our money into tuition, room and board--upwards of $200,000 for some of us--when our kids are struggling to find work. What kind of return on investment is that?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics latest figures suggest that, all other issues aside, it is financially still a worthy investment. The unemployment rate for college graduates was just 3.7 percent in January and that was less than half the rate (8.1 percent) for those with only a high school diploma. Here are the stats in chart form:
Catherine Rampell, writing in the New York Times blog Economix, notes, "the wage premium for those with a bachelor’s degree compared to those without one is also growing, particularly when you factor in the fact that college-educated people are more likely to be employed at any given time than less educated workers. One troubling trend hidden in all of these numbers is that the unemployment rate for those with some college but no degree — 7 percent — is not that much lower than that for people with no college at all."
Bottom line: It's not only worth the investment, it's worth that extra push to get them to stay the college course.