September 7, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VSU Degree Pays Off While Also Changing Lives, Transforming Communities
A high school graduate who earns a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University will earn nearly $1.2 million more during their lifetime. Advanced degrees boost those earnings even more.
VALDOSTA — A high school graduate who earns a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University will earn nearly $1.2 million more during their lifetime. Advanced degrees boost those earnings even more.
According to the Lifetime Earnings for University System of Georgia Class of 2021 study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, high school graduates who obtain a bachelor’s degree will boost their work-life earnings by 82 percent in Georgia, or 80 percent across the United States.
“Students and their families often ask if a college degree is worth their time, their effort, and their money,” said Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. “This University System of Georgia-commissioned study shows that higher education pays off, especially for high school graduates who make the decision to further their education and earn a bachelor’s degree.
“As South Georgia’s flagship institution of higher education, VSU is committed to fostering student success by expanding experiential learning and career focus and developing academic programs that meet the demands of our region and beyond. We know education opens doors, changes lives, empowers families, and transforms communities. It challenges, inspires, and drives us to be better.”
In the report, Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth, noted that the most relevant measure of the economic “worth” of a college education is increased earnings over a working lifetime. His team prepared estimates of work-life earnings by level of educational attainment for Georgia and the U.S. based on median personal earned income data from the Census Bureau’s most recent five-year American Community Survey.
Humphreys explained that the increase in earnings associated with a degree varies from one person to another, over time, geographically, and by field of study. However, according to the report, it is possible to provide a rough approximation of the aggregate benefits to VSU’s Class of 2021 graduates, as well as benefits accruing to the average degree holder.
These estimates are important, he added, because they show to what extent higher education pays off, which may motivate students, employers, workers, and policymakers to pursue and support postsecondary education.
Visit https://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/news_files/USG_Lifetime_Earnings_Class_of_2021.pdf to read the full 17-page report.On the Web: