Lifetime Earnings with a Bachelor’s Degree

The following short article is written to provide general advice about online education and degrees, not just information specific to WGU. If you have specific questions about WGU, feel free to inquire online or speak with an enrollment counselor (1-866-225-5948).

Do you wonder if your accredited online bachelor's degree will pay for itself over time? Data released by the National Center for Education Statistics says it will.

According to NCES numbers, females with a four-year college degree or more earned, on average, 71% more than those with a high school diploma. Males with a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree earned 67% more.

Additionally, the divide continues to grow in pay rates between those with college degrees and those with high school diplomas. In 1980, college-educated males earned just 18% more than those with just a high school diploma. Females with a college degree in 1980 earned 35% more than their high school graduate counterparts.

How much can I expect to earn with my bachelor's degree?

The NECS chart shows that, in 2006, U.S. males with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned, on average, $50,000. Men with a high school diploma or GED earned just $30,000. The overall average salary for men in 2006 is reported as $37,000.

For women, a bachelor’s degree or higher brought their salary up to $41,000 v. $24,000 for women with a high school diploma or GED. The overall average salary for women in 2006 was $31,800.