By Charlotte Young
As Americans struggle to cover the cost of increasingly high tuition in recent years, many are left wondering whether a higher education is indeed a good investment.
The Pew Research Center set out to answer that question in a new study called “Is College Worth It?” Their results confirm that yes, it is worth the money—maybe. Three-fourths of those surveyed believe that the cost of college is no longer affordable, but 86 percent of college graduates said for them, “it was a good investment.”
President Obama agrees; as such, he has set a goal of having the U.S. dish out the largest number of college graduates in the world by the year 2020, according to CNN.
Those who have a college degree estimate that they make an average of $20,000 more a year. Essentially, college graduates could potentially earn about $550,000 more in a lifetime. But for those who only have a high school degree, they believe that they make $20,000 less a year since they don’t have a college degree.
But it’s not just the college degree that makes the money–it’s the field of study. College grads that choose a line of work with a low salary range may make as much or less thank high school graduates.
Money aside, the study did find that those who went to college were more satisfied in their careers.
“You have a public that understands that college is important,” Paul Taylor, one of the authors of the study, told CNN. “But at the end of the day, if you push them and ask is it college or character, people place more importance on character than a college diploma.”