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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Is a College Degree "Worth It"

A new paper, and well worth your time: 
The Case of California Higher Education
Alan Benson, Raimundo Esteva and Frank Levy1

Abstract. Using data from California’s higher education systems, this paper estimates individuals’ and society’s economic returns to a Bachelor’s (BA) degree and evaluates the quality of a beginning a BA program as an investment. We adjust for a fuller range of factors than are typically considered in prior evaluations, including non-completion, time-to-degree, accelerating marginal income taxes, and risk. Although each of these adjustments reduces the estimated return to a beginning BA program, we find doing so generally remains a good investment for individuals and society. However, rising tuition and the widening distribution of earnings among those who begin BA programs has increased the risk individuals do not recoup their investments.


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