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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, Education Matters, the following are the median weekly earnings by educational attainment in 2015:
Educational Attainment
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

How Much Will it Cost to Go Back to School, and Can I Afford It?

The College Board reported average college costs for 2018 as follows:

Annual Tuition and Fees
Two Year Public College or University
Four Year Public College or University (In-State)
Four Year Public College or University (Out-of-State)
Four Year Private College or University

These figures are based on published tuition costs, not what students actually pay out of pocket. There can be a significant difference in numbers due to financial aid. The majority of students receive some type of assistance toward cost of attendance in the form of grants, scholarships, educational credits, and federal loans. For more information, see The College Board publications Trends in College Pricing, Trends in Student Aid and Education Pays.

Do not rule out a college simply because of high tuition. Many costly colleges may offer a generous financial aid package, that makes it more affordable than those with a lower tuition. Look at your net price, not the colleges published price.

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 our Institutional Cost of Attendance Worksheet. To find information for each individual college including the type of financial aid package you may receive, use the 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.


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