By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
New study shows financial value of University System of Georgia degrees
W University system georgia logo

ATLANTA – University System of Georgia (USG) graduates from the Class of 2021 will earn more than $1 million more during their lifetimes than they would have without earning a bachelor’s degree, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, revealed the breakdown of how much each level of higher education can add to a USG graduate’s total earnings over their lives.

“The difference higher education makes on a person’s life is dramatic,” said system Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “Whether you are a high school graduate trying to decide between going to college or entering the workforce, or you are a mid-career adult wanting to improve your earning potential by completing your degree or adding to your education, this study clearly demonstrates a college degree in Georgia is a worthwhile investment.”

The report showed that earnings increase substantially with each step up the ladder of post-secondary education. On average, the study found each credential generates additional earnings over a person’s lifetime by:

  •       $238,455 for a certificate.
  •       $377,000 for an associate degree.
  •       $1,152,500 for a bachelor’s degree.
  •       1,399,500 for a master’s degree.
  •       $2,037,500 for a doctorate.

Based on work-life earnings estimates for Georgia, the analysis showed the 70,641 USG graduates from the Class of 2021 can expect combined total lifetime earnings of $179 billion, $60 billion more than they could expect to earn had they not gone on to college or graduate school.

Perdue announced at this month’s Board of Regents meeting the creation of a new website, Georgia Degrees Pay, where students and their families can glean comparative information on schools, majors, academic outcomes, costs and future earnings.

The future earnings tool allows users to see earnings after graduation by major and institution. It also compares a range of earnings by academic area one, five and 10 years after graduation.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter