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How much more Do College Graduates Earn than non-college Graduates?

Jacob Kubik
By Jacob Kubik. Updated: January 16, 2017
How much more Do College Graduates Earn than non-college Graduates?

In today's world, education plays a big role in what you do for a living and how much you will make during your lifetime. More and more people are going to college than in past generations, but there are also still a vast amount of people who don't want to go or who are unable to attend. This creates a pretty big difference in pay between the two groups, but exactly how big is the gap? How Much More Do College Graduates Earn Than Non-college Graduates? Keep on reading to find out!

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  1. The Expense of College
  2. Average Pay: Non-College Graduate
  3. Average Pay: College Graduates

The Expense of College

College is arguably one of the most expensive things that is considered somewhat of a norm in today's society. Many people think about going to college as pretty normal and plan for it without much of a second thought. It's a route to help ensure that you can get a decent job for your future. However, college is very expensive and many people don't think about this when planning which college or degree they wish to get. The average tuition cost (excluding room board, and books) is around $9,000 for public in-state students and around $22,000 for public out of state students. Private colleges are even more expensive as well. If you take into account that the average student graduates in 4 years then you're looking at a total cost of around $36,000-$88,000 to become a college graduate. This is why many people can't afford to go to college, and this number is not even including a place to live or books needed for classes.

Average Pay: Non-College Graduate

For those who have not graduated college, the top education they have is is either a high-school degree or any other certification that they may have earned throughout their schooling. With less education these job applicants are not able to get the same level jobs as college graduates are. The average pay for people without a college education is around $24,000 a year. This really is not a lot of money, but this is including every person without a college degree meaning that there are those that are higher and those that are lower.

Average Pay: College Graduates

College graduates, the one's who have paid the great expense of college have earned at least a bachelor's degree in a subject of their choice. Obviously the degree will change how much they make as well, but the average salary for college graduates is around $49,000 a year. This makes a difference of $25,000 a year for college graduates compared to non-college graduates. Over a lifetime of work (let's say 50 years) the average non-college graduate would earn around $1,200,000 while the college graduate will have earned $2,450,000. It's a pretty big difference in the long run.

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How much more Do College Graduates Earn than non-college Graduates?