According to a new study, college dropouts can be surprisingly costly.
The American Institutes for Research surveyed 1.1 million incoming college students in 2002 who were set on graduating school. After six years, almost 500,000 dropped out, costing the government $4.5 billion of lost tax revenue and potential income.
"Taxpayers have paid billions of dollars in subsidies to support these students as they pursue degrees they will never earn, and as a nation, we incur billions in lost earnings and lost income taxes each year," the report's co-author, Mark Schneider.
The students themselves also suffer greatly from dropping out.
Daily Finance has more:
Students who walk away before they get to strut to Pomp and Circumstance are not only left with the emotional baggage of not completing college, but also with the heavy burden of student loan debt, and the investment of their own money in tuition that won't generate any returns. And of course, by leaving school without a sheepskin, they are curtailing their ability to get the great jobs they desire.
According to the Census Bureau, college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34, working year-round, earn about 40% more than those with some college who have not completed their degrees, and around two-thirds more than those with just high school diplomas. The lifetime earnings of a college graduate can exceed those of a high school graduate by as much as $500,000, reports AIR.
Perhaps college really is worth it after all? What do you think? Weigh in below.