As our kids grow up, they’ll inevitably face the question, “Is college for me?” As a caring adult, we can give them good information to help them make an informed decision… and the answer to these question might be eye-opening for them.
Today I was writing our next Youth Culture Window article (to be posted in a couple weekends) about our kids being financially prepared to move out on their own, aptly titled, “Less Likely To Leave the Nest: Why your 20-something might opt to live in your basement.” As I was pouring through all the research about how expensive education has become, and how much our kids are racking up in school loans, I became distracted by a little rabbit trail contrasting the incomes of someone with a bachelors degree to that of someone with only a high school diploma. That disparity has grown immense in the last decade!
Pew Research embarked on a study a few years back which not only compares today’s young people to past generations, it also revealed the increasing gap between young adults with and without a college degree. Here’s a peek at their findings:
Similarly, in 2015 the Bureau of Labor Statistics posted their findings, disclosing a huge gap between incomes when you compare current educational attainment. For example, a person with a bachelors degree makes an average of $1,980 more per month than the someone with just a high school diploma. They also provided a helpful chart, including how higher degrees decrease the chance of unemployment:
Use reports like these to engage your kids in discussion about their future. Not every kid is college bound, but I know as I look back at my own parenting, I wish I would have had more discussions like this, and less lectures.