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A visual argument for why college is still worth it

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15 2013 4:51 p.m. MDT

In this file photo, Graduate Leland Shelton is congratulated as he is acknowledged by President Barack Obama during his 129th commencement ceremony address at Morehouse College Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta. After a difficult childhood Shelton graduated Phi Beta Kappa and is on his way to Harvard Law School.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

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As the issue of student debt continues to be a pressing matter in the public square, journalists and pundits continue to argue whether or not college is still worth the rising costs.

For example, last June Business Insider ran two graphs that the publication believes “prove a college education just isn’t worth the money anymore.”

The BI graphs, which are based on U.S. census data and research by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, display the growing discrepancy between the cost of college and the average earnings of those with a bachelor’s degree, as well as the shrinking gap between the unemployed and the college educated.

“For the first time in the history of our country, the majority of unemployed Americans attended college,” David Blake wrote for Business Insider. “There are now more people without jobs who went to college than those who did not.”

A month earlier, however, The Bureau of Labor Statistics ran its own chart (presented above) that promoted a very different conclusion, namely that it still pays to get a college education.

The BLS graph displays the trends of earnings and unemployment rates by education level, and clearly shows that even though college may be increasing in price, the benefits of undergraduate and advanced degrees are still as relevant as ever.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and a content writer for the Moneywise page on DeseretNews.com. Email: jfeinauer@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @jjfeinauer.

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