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Higher education worth the price for successful career and livable wages, new state report finds

COLORADO, USA (KRDO) - The Colorado Department of Higher Education released its yearly Return on Investment (ROI) report, giving insight into Colorado's colleges and universities, and its student, and the value behind getting a degree.

This year the state reports that the number of students graduating with debt is actually going down, however if people want a higher paying job, it says you'll likely need a degree.

The state found that the average cost for attending a 2-year institution is only about $4,000 dollars less than the cost of attending a 4-year institution per year.

In addition, it stated that those graduating with an associates degree have close to $13,000 dollars in debt, whereas those with a four year degree, are saddled with $25,000 dollars in student debt.

The state's report also explains that when it comes to those who do graduate with a bachelors or associates degree, the dollar amount of debt they're taking on has roughly remained the same since 2016. However, the percent of students graduating with debt, has gone down 10% for those seeking a bachelors, and 16% for an associates in the same time frame.

The ROI report also shows that the weekly earnings of someone with a high school diploma, or associates degree is on average half of that of someone with bachelor degree.

It also shows that there's a near identical correlation in unemployment rates, with bachelors graduates sitting a little over 2%, while those with just a high school diploma, are at 4%.

The report lays out that when it comes to job growth over the next five years, industries that require a degree, such as health care and social assistance, can expect over 35,000 new jobs, the "accommodation and food services industry" will see over 30,000 projected new jobs, while Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services can anticipate over 26,000 new jobs.

You can view the entire report, here.

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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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