U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip Header

The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings

Written by:
Report Number P23-210

Does going to school pay off? Most people think so. Currently, almost 90 percent of young adults graduate from high school and about 60 percent of high school seniors continue on to college the following year. People decide to go to college for many reasons. One of the most compelling is the expectation of future economic success based on educational attainment.

This report illustrates the economic value of an education, that is, the added value of a high school diploma or college degree. It explores the relationship between educational attainment and earnings and demonstrates how the relationship has changed over the last 25 years. Additionally, it provides, by level of education, synthetic estimates of the average total earnings adults are likely to accumulate over the course of their working lives.

Page Last Revised - October 28, 2021
Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header