WASHINGTON STATE

HOUSE DEMOCRATS

Does it still pay to get a college degree?

While the new state budget holds the line against any tuition increase, it is worth looking at the cost of a college degree.

Does it pencil out? Do you make more money, or do all the student loans outweigh the benefits?

Slate.com has a great story about a national site that actually ran the numbers.

For the vast majority of students, there’s good news: even if you borrow every dime of tuition, books, room and board, you should come out ahead because the average college graduate makes far more during their career than someone with a high school degree.

 There are exceptions, and it’s worth playing around with the website to see what those are. The best return on investment comes if you get a science or engineering degree, or if you attend an Ivy League school.

But every single one of Washington state’s major public and private universities turns out to be a good deal, according to the survey. You can look at the stats here. For example, a four-year degree at UW cost $99,430 but the return on investment over 20 years is $477,100. Not too shabby.