May 04, 2022

Question of the Day: How much more per week does a college grad earn compared to someone with some college?

The benefit of finishing a college degree can greatly outweigh the cost.

Answer: About $435 per week MORE (or over $22,000 per year)



  • Why do you think college grads earn so much more than those who start but don't complete a degree?
  • Do you think wages gaps based on educational attainment will increase or decrease in the future?
  • What are some ways a worker can increase their income without increasing the educational attainment listed on this chart?
  • Your friend says that spending $20,000/year to go to college isn't worth it when you can get a job now that pays $25,000. Do you agree or disagree? Use data from the chart to support your answer.


Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Bureau of Labor Statistics):

"These education categories reflect only the highest level of educational attainment. They do not take into account completion of training programs in the form of apprenticeships and other on-the-job training, which may also influence earnings and unemployment rates."



Want to support students who are pursuing an alternative to 4-year college? Learn more about apprenticeships, trade schools, and more in the Alt to 4 year Mini-Unit!


Or check out another favorite in our Paying for College unit: ANALYZE: College and Career Choices (Sp)

About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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