The value of a college degree is well–documented, but new research from Goldman Sachs appears to further fuel the college-value debate. The findings estimate that today’s college graduates, on average, don’t “break even” on the costs of a bachelor’s degree until age 31 – a full year longer than it took the Class of 2010. To Goldman researchers this represents a worsening trend – if sustained, in 15 years the average graduate won’t break even until age 33, and the Class of 2050 won’t recoup their costs until age 37.
But research like this, although helpful, tends to overlook a crucial question: what's the cost of not going to college?
It comes as little surprise that the Great Recession had a significantly negative impact on employment opportunities. The peak of the downturn’s effect on underemployment occurred in 2010, when about 10% of college graduates were considered “underemployed” (i.e. unemployed, working part-time or not seeking employment), according to a study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.