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College graduates earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, U.S. Census Bureau data says

Shelby Lum / Photo editor OSU students stand with their colleges at the OSU Spring Commencement on May 5 at Ohio Stadium.

Shelby Lum / Photo editor

While some college students may worry about the pay off of their college education, statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in April show that those with a post-secondary education earn almost double that of those with only a high school degree.

The mean earnings of individuals who did not graduate from high school was $5,082 in the final three months, or fourth quarter, of 2011, according to the statistics. Those who made it through high school, but had no further education had a mean personal earning of $7,466.

In contrast, the Bureau reported that the mean earnings of college graduates was $14,726 during the fourth quarter and $22,812 for those with a post-graduate degree during the same period.

The recent statistical findings may not receive much attention from young adults, but Amy Murray, Ohio State spokeswoman, said the numbers could be particularly useful for students when choosing a path to pursue after high school.

“It’s good to have some sense of what’s important for students as they’re making a decision to go to college hopefully,” Murray said.

Kathleen Mitsoff, a recent OSU graduate in hospitality management, agreed that high school students should consult the statistics before they decide whether or not to pursue higher education.

“It would be good to let high school students know if they are debating on whether or not they want to go to college,” she said.

Mitsoff said she also found the statistics reassuring for those who recently graduated or are about to graduate.

“That makes me feel a lot better,” she said.

Despite college graduates making nearly twice as much as high school graduates, Mike Antoon, a third-year in economics, said many students will likely still doubt the benefits of a college education.

“I’d say we could certainly use a bigger system of trade schools in the United States instead of the post-secondary system that we have in place now because there’s not a lot of incentive now to go to college because it’s so expensive and the payout is not always worth it,” Antoon said. “You’re not guaranteed a job now just because you’re going to college. A college degree now is what a high school degree was 20 or 30 years ago. A college degree back then is now a post-grad degree.”

The U.S. Census Bureau did not return The Lantern’s request for comment.

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