BUSINESS
06/28/2013 02:56 pm ET

Why Going To College Is A Valuable Investment (In 1 Chart)

AP

It’s rough out there for recent college grads -- but that doesn’t make pursuing a degree a bad idea.

The jobless rate for Americans overall, which includes those with and without a college degree, is higher than for those with at least a bachelor's, according to a report released Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. When you break out those with higher education from the general worker population, the benefit becomes clear, as this chart from the bank illustrates:

fed chart unemployment

Adding to the chart, a recent study by The Hamilton Project found that the gap in employment and earnings between college graduates and those without a degree is growing -- meaning college is becoming more important, not less.

This fact is often overlooked in discussions of the plight of recent college graduates, many of whom are underemployed, according to various studies. A recent study from McKinsey noted that a newly-minted college graduate takes a job they feel overqualified for every five minutes in America.

Many are questioning the value of a degree because it's become so costly to get one. And Congress may be making it worse. The Senate failed to pass a deal Thursday to prevent interest rates from doubling on many government-backed college loans. The result: About 7 million students could see their borrowing costs double next week.

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