Earnings Gap Narrows, but College Education Still Pays

The earnings gap between young college graduates and their peers with only high-school diplomas has narrowed slightly in recent years, but adults with bachelor’s degrees still make significantly more over their careers, according to a report released on Monday by the College Board.

The expansive triennial report, “Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” examines the value of college in both financial and nonfinancial terms. The goal is to “call attention to ways in which both individuals and society as a whole benefit from increased levels of education,” the authors write.

Debate over the return on investment of higher education—and whether such a tally is the right way to determine its value—has intensified as tuition has risen faster than family income. And research on the extent to which graduates come out ahead is a complex, charged exercise. The College Board has faced criticism in the past for overstating the benefits of a degree, but this report is about data, not advocacy, Sandy Baum, one of its authors, has argued. <Read more.>

Via Justin Doubleday, The Chronicle of Higher Education.