Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

New Study Calls for Boosting Need-Based Aid

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

New Study Calls for Boosting Need-Based Aid

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

A new study is lauding the positive impact that a college education can have on what it calls "our shared economic, social and cultural well-being as a nation," and calls for increased funding for Pell Grants.

"While policy-makers and education leaders cite the fact that a bachelor's degree has become worth more than $1 million in lifetime earnings, the other economic and social benefits of college are even more important, though often unrecognized," say the authors of the new study, "Investing in America's Future: Why Student Aid Pays Off for Society and Individuals."

Among those benefits, the study continues, are increased tax revenues for college-educated employees who generally receive higher salaries than those without college degrees; lower unemployment rates; and less reliance on public-assistance programs.

Relying on statistics from a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and a 2002 report from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the study notes that graduates of both two- and four-year colleges could expect to enjoy salaries of more than $41,000 in 2002, at least $12,000 above the average income level of a person with only a high-school diploma.

And the higher the level of educational attainment, the study adds, the greater the level of annual earnings, from an average $56,000 for college graduates with master's degrees in 2002 to more than $75,000 per year for holders of doctorates.

"No one can argue that the personal economic benefits of a college education are illusory," say the report's authors, Dr. Jamie P. Merisotis, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, and Dr. William C. Nelsen, president of Scholarship America.

At the same time, those with higher-education degrees tend to be unemployed less often. …

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