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How Higher Education Pays Off

College can help you earn more money over your lifetime. On average, incomes increase with every additional degree earned. You are also less likely to become unemployed.

More Education Pays Off in Higher Earnings

A survey from 2020 shows that median earnings grow from $619 to $781 per week just by earning a high school diploma. Getting a bachelor's degree increases median earnings to $1,305 per week.

Education Pays

Level of education Median weekly earnings in 2020 Unemployment rate in 2020
Less than a high school diploma $619 11.7%
High school diploma $781 9.0%
Some college, no degree $877 8.3%
Associate degree $938 7.1%
Bachelor's degree $1,305 5.5%
Master's degree $1,545 4.1%
Professional degree $1,893 3.1%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In Minnesota, about 69 percent of Minnesota high school graduates attend college the fall after graduation. View college participation rates for more details.

Other Benefits

There are many benefits to having an advanced degree. You may have better employee benefits and working conditions and be less likely to be laid off. You also learn skills employers want:

  • critical thinking
  • communications
  • teamwork
  • time management
  • researching
  • problem-solving
  • writing
  • computer literacy

College isn't free. One way to reduce the cost is to attend a community college or a short-term training program. But don't rule out a school simply because of the cost. Few students pay the full tuition price. There are many ways to pay for college.  



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