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An Investment that Pays

One of the biggest concerns students express when they receive their financial aid package from their school is "how much of it will I have to pay back?"

In previous issues of Carpe Diem we've discussed financial aid that you won't have to pay back, including grants and scholarships, and financial aid that you will have to pay back, student loans. Now we'd like to take the opportunity to reassure you that your education will provide you the means to make your loan payments while still giving you the extra income you need to improve your life.

According to data from the Census Bureau, college graduates make an average of $23,000 more than adults with only a high school diploma. Even more striking, high school dropouts earned an average of $60,000 less than those with advanced college degrees.

Some quick math will tell you that if you that over the course of your career, your degree could easily be worth a million dollars more to you! When you think of it that way, a few years of student loan payments shouldn't make a dent in your quality of life.

Consider these rules of thumb as you think about going back to school:

Associate's degrees are a sure thing!

  • Compared to their relatively low cost, two-year degrees will result in a huge payback.

You can't lose with a Bachelor's degree!

  • Any bachelor's degree you get at a public university will likely pay off generously.

Professional degrees can lead to great rewards!

  • There's a reason why people borrow lots of money to attend law and medical schools - the return for a professional degree is huge.

If you're interested in learning how much more you can make in your career with a college degree, try an online future earnings calculator.

It might be useful to compare those results with what you learn from the PAIS Financial Aid Calculator we introduced last month. We're sure if you do, you'll see that your education is an investment that pays off!