College can boost your income by 37%. Here are the top schools for the best financial outcomes

Even as Americans express growing skepticism about the value of a college degree, a new study finds “incontrovertible” data that college grads far outearn those with only a high school education.

In 2024, college grads’ median pay stands at about 37% higher than median pay for those without a bachelor’s degree, according to the analysis from compensation firm PayScale. In dollar terms, people with a college education earn about $78,400 annually in median pay, compared with $49,400 for people with a high school degree, the study found.

Americans’ increasingly dim view of higher education comes amid rising tuition costs and the nation’s ongoing student debt crisis, with millions of households grappling with a combined $1.7 trillion in college loans. While some professions don’t require college degrees and can also provide good livings — such as trades like plumbing or electrical wiring — the earnings and wealth gap between college and high school grads remains significant.

Read more from CBS News.

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