Going to college is terrifying for various reasons. There are beer-soaked dorms, peers jumping off roofs for fun, and dining hall meals. To that list, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York adds three items, all related to your financial future.
On the question certain collegians may be pondering around this time of year—whether it’s worth pursuing a degree at all—the New York Fed is unequivocal. A four-year college education nets the average graduate a higher salary than an associate’s degree or high school diploma, according to data the central bank released this week. Investing in a cap and gown also pays off in half the time that it used to: The typical grad recoups the cost of going to school—including four years of lost wages—in 10 years.
But the data offer some less uplifting news about the value of a college degree.