What’s The Value Of An Associate’s Degree? The Return On Investment For Graduates And Taxpayers

This report examined the economic benefits of attaining an Associates Degree. The authors analyzed data from 579 community colleges and data gathered by Payscale.com on the earning estimates of graduates from the community colleges in the study. The authors found Associates Degree completers had a median net gain during a 40-year work-life of more than $259,000 compared with that of a high school graduate in the state where the community college is located. However, there is a wide variation in the net gain among states. The tax benefit for society in general is negligible as community colleges are supported by the federal and state governments and median incomes of Associates Degree holders are relatively low.

External Publication
American Institutes for Research
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Keyword: Level