National College Application Month: Economic Impact of Degree Attainment

Education is often seen as a key driver of economic growth and individual prosperity. Postsecondary degree attainment has the potential to break the cycle of poverty and open avenues of success for generations. During October, National College Application Month, we highlight the transformational power of education and the lifetime influence of degree attainment.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn an average salary of $74,464, or 59% more than individuals without a postsecondary education. In Florida, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, about 37% more per year than those with only a high school diploma. College graduates are more resilient in times of economic downturn. In fact, college degree holders report fewer episodes of unemployment and shorter terms between employment as compared to individuals with no education beyond high school. 

A college degree not only benefits the individual, but it also benefits the state. College graduates typically possess the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and achieve success in a wide range of industries, including the highly competitive and ever-evolving technology industry. Additionally, college graduates are more likely to become entrepreneurs, thus creating jobs, driving innovation, and contributing to the state’s economic development. Higher incomes among college graduates lead to increased home ownership and higher levels of discretionary spending. Individuals with higher incomes contribute to higher tax revenues, enabling the state to invest in healthcare, education, and other public programs.  

The profound impact of a college degree is precisely why, starting in October, we encourage all students and parents to explore college campuses throughout the state, apply to numerous institutions, and enjoy the lifetime benefits of college degree completion.