FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — College credentials are still a good value for Kentuckians, according to a new report issued by the state Council on Postsecondary Education.
Also, state allocations for public higher education more than make up for their cost, the report said.
“This report should dispel any myths about the value of a college credential,” council President Aaron Thompson said in a news release Wednesday.
The report was based on information gathered from following the Kentucky high school class of 2010 for eight years, from their entry into college or the workforce. It is titled Higher Education's Return on Investment.
By 2018, bachelor's degree graduates were making $12,000 more annually than high school graduates, even after taking into account lost earning potential while in college, the release said. Students from the class of 2010 paid on average a total of $15,394 for a certificate or diploma, $30,859 for an associate's degree and $55,418 for a bachelor's degree.
The state's total investment for public college students was $630 million through direct appropriations to public colleges and universities and through state financial aid programs, the release said. The report said the students will contribute $42.8 billion to the economy over their working lifetime through taxes and spending.
The report also said college graduates are less likely to be unemployed or participate in entitlement programs, resulting in additional savings. In 2017, 85% of those who were unemployed or out of the labor force did not have a college credential, the release said.