Back to College
  main | site map | search | features | journal | forums | bookshelf | contact | newsletter  
The Library

Bookmark this page!

Going Back to College: Frequently Asked Questions
(Continued from page 1)

What Would I Earn with a College Degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average full-time employee with a bachelor's degree earned approximately $53,300 a year, sixty-one percent more than an employee with a high school diploma or GED, with comparative yearly earnings of $32,552. Employees with a bachelor's degree also had a lower unemployment rate than individuals with a high school diploma (5.2 percent to 9.7 percent).
Educational Level
Median Weekly Earnings
Doctoral degree
Professional degree
Master's degree
Bachelor's degree
Associate degree
Some college, no degree
High-school graduate
Less than a high school diploma
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education Pays 2010

How Much Will it Cost to Go Back to School?
The College Board reported average college costs for 2011-12 as follows:

Annual Tuition and Fees
Two Year Public College or University
Four Year Public College or University
Four Year Private College or University

Here's the good news: the majority of students receive some type of financial aid. In 2010-11, the average amount of aid given a full-time undergraduate was $12,455 (including over $6,500 in grants or gift aid.) For more information, see The College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2011 and Trends in Student Aid 2011.

Can I Afford to Go to College?
To get an idea of how much it will cost to attain your degree, choose three of the schools you are most interested in and input the required data in the Institutional Cost of Attendance Worksheet. To find each individual college profile, use the free College Search provided by the College Board.

How Long Will it Take to Complete My Degree?
That depends on your academic goals. A certificate program for a specialized field or career (non-college credit or credit) generally takes one year. Examples of certificate programs are in the culinary arts, computer technology, childhood education, emergency medical technicians, office administration, pharmacy technician, real estate, teacher's aide, tourism, travel. (See Online Courses and Certificate Programs and Certificate Programs: College's Best Kept Secret for some examples.

An associate’s degree requires 60 credits and takes two years for full-time students to complete. A bachelor’s degree (120 credits) generally takes four years, but can be accelerated through several academic options.


ęCopyright 1998-2014 WD Communications LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Policies.

main | site map | search | contact | advertise