CLICK It: Is College Worth It? Depends on Your Values

In the Valley, where you can’t throw a hacky sack without hitting a campus, September means back to college.

Keep scrolling down for infographs.

The value of a college degree can be debated — among people who have earned them, more than 80 percent say it was a great investment in themselves, according to a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation study, “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them” — and it can also be quantified. The estimated lifetime earnings of a college graduate is nearly double that of a high school grad. Unless, of course, that college graduate gets her degree in the liberal arts. These folks are anticipated to make less over their lifetimes than high school grads.

College is an excellent choice for many people, but of all the freshmen who enroll in the fall, less than 56 percent will graduate within six years with a bachelor’s degree, according to a Harvard Study, “Pathways to Prosperity.”

Why do students drop out? A 2009 survey that asked people who had gone to college what the experience was like. The most important information in the study is the part where participants are broken into two groups — those who graduated college and those who didn’t — and asked about the cost, pressures, and life balance issues they experienced while in school. To see more information from the Gates study or to delve deeper into the data, check this story out at

Kristin Palpini

Author: Kristin Palpini

Editor of the Valley Advocate

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