Outreach Toolkit: Why College Is Worth It

A college education lets you choose a field that truly interests you and earn a living doing something you love.

Why College Is Worth It

Attending college has proven to have many benefits. Numerous studies, including the U.S. Census Bureau have shown a strong relationship to the salary earnings of those with a college degree. College also provides a great opportunity to explore and study a field that you are passionate, and gain hands-on experiences, including possible internships and study abroad opportunities.

*The College Payoff (2011) Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

  • An Associate's degree holder earns nearly one-third more than a high school diploma holders 
  • Bachelor degree holders earn 31 percent more than Associate's degree holders and 74 percent more than high school diploma holders 
  • Obtaining a post-secondary education is a key step to becoming an innovator and entrepreneur

Job Access 

The Great Recession (December 2007-January 2010) caused a loss of 7.2 million jobs. 5.6 million of those jobs were workers with a high school diploma or less. Although, the United States has added 11.6 million jobs during the recession period (January 2010-January 2016) only a small fraction (800,000) of these jobs were for those with a high school diploma or less. 

  • Nearly all jobs created in the recovery have gone to workers with at least some postsecondary education 
  • Bachelor degree holders gained the most (73%) of jobs in the recovery (8.4 million) 
  • Associate degree or some college recovered all 1.8 million jobs and added 1.3 million new jobs as of January 2016

*America's Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots (2016) Georgetown University Center for Education and Workforce 

Cost of College 

The cost of college can be alarming for many students and families. There are many affordable college options and scholarship opportunities for students to make the dream of a degree more obtainable. UNCF has helped more than 445,000 students graduate from college. Each year, UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships to more than 10,000 students at more than 1,100 schools across the country, including our prestigious network of 37 HBCUs. Log onto UNCF.org/scholarships to register for scholarship and internship opportunities.