04/02/2012 10:42 am ET

College Costs: Is It More Expensive To Get A College Degree, Or Drop Out?

By Alexandra Churchill

We all know how expensive college can be, but according to this report by The Huffington Post, the benefits of having a college degree far outweigh the costs of dropping out.

Statistics show that more and more college students are dropping out because earning their higher education is simply too expensive: the total U.S. student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion. And with the cost of college rising, especially in the wake of states slashing their education budgets, the percentage of Baby Boomers who feel confident in their ability to pay for their children's education has dipped 39 percent since 2007 to 24 percent, according to a recent study by Ameriprise Financial.

But the statistics also show that "college pays off." People who don't go to college suffer from a lifetime of lower earnings. They also contribute less to the economy, which lowers everyone's standard of living.

A bachelor's degree is worth $2.8 million over one's lifetime, according to a recent Georgetown University study and college graduates earn 84 percent more over their lifetimes than people without college degrees.