The idea of college reaches from a given to a forgone conclusion. But new research shows that joining the workforce and providing for family or savings doesn’t outweigh the benefits of college. But as smart as this seems when you are 19 or 20, four years after high school graduation, the results start to lean towards the college graduates’ favor. The annual earnings of someone with a bachelor’s degree is on average $15,000 more than people who went to a two year college, and $17,000 a year higher than high school graduates. But some people weigh the future earnings against the debt of college loans. However, the average debt for a college graduate is $25,000, a mere drop in the bucket when the estimated total economic value of college is currently at $500,000, according to The New York Times. But that isn’t the end of it. The Bureau for Labor Statistics reported that in the most recent study in 2011, 63 percent of high school graduates were going into college. That 63 percent are less likely to live in poverty, be unemployed or live with their parents, and they are more likely to be married, according to the Pew Research Center. So, even though skipping college can seem like a good way to save time and start career, it may kill job opportunities later, especially in the current economic climate, where the 18 to 24-year-old population recently rose from 27.3 million to approximately 31.5 million. Life isn’t about skipping ahead and getting through everything that you don’t want to do; it’s about making the most of every experience, and one of the most important experiences of your twenties is going to college. It isn’t worth it to try and start a career without a degree, so take the time, and shell out the funds, because it is worth every penny and every second of hard work.

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