Ben Roethlisberger Graduates From College

When Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger graduated from Miami University in May 2012 he said he felt it was important to finish his classes and complete his bachelors degree in education to show the value of getting a college education. Many people think the value of a college education is strictly financial, however, you will see that there are multiple reasons to follow Ben's example and earn a college degree.

Roethlisberger had left Miami University to join the NFL before he finished his degree. Yahoo! Sports stated that he was 4 classes short when he left but over the last several years has completed those last classes. It is not uncommon for college football players to leave school prior to completing their degree in order to join the NFL, but some of them still see the value of a degree and go back to finish their courses. Another Steeler, Troy Polamalu, announced on his website in May of 2011 that he had finished his studies at the University of Southern California and had received a diploma. Many athletes go on to other jobs after retiring from their game so we will see how Roethlisberger and Polamalu utilize their degrees when they are finished with football.

Benefits of a college degree.
Someone considering college may ask is the cost of college really worth it? Attending college means you may take on tuition related debt or forego wages during the time you are in school. Many sources will tell you that the lifetime earning potential of a college graduate is higher than those without a degree, however, there are other benefits as well.

-You are less likely to lose your job during a recession.
-A better understanding of your chosen line of work.
-There is a correlation between higher levels of education and higher earnings for all racial/ethnic groups and for both men and women.
-College graduates have lower smoking rates, more positive perceptions of personal health, and lower incarceration rates than individuals who have not graduated from college.
-The income gap between high school graduates and college graduates has increased significantly over time.
-The young children of college graduates display higher levels of school readiness indicators than children of non graduates.
-Census Bureau estimates suggest that in terms of today’s dollars, college graduates will earn an average of about $2.5 million, or about $1 million dollars more over their working lives than high school graduates.
-You're more likely to have employer provided health insurance.
-Lower blood pressure and stress.
-More likely to be promoted into higher paying positions.

Some ways to pay for college without debt.
-Work directly for the college or university.
-Work for an employer with a tuition assistance program.
-Join the military reserves.
-Use the Job Corps.
-Apply for an educational grant through the unemployment office.
-American Opportunity Tax Credit
-Lifetime Learning Education Credit

Salary Expectations By Education Level
The average salary someone can expect to earn without a high school education is $21,000.00 per year, compared to a high school graduate who makes 50% more at $31,000.00 per year. Knowing about the potential 50% jump in pay may be an incentive to get many kids to complete their studies and graduate from high school. Education is not the only thing that will allow someone to earn more at work, but it certainly proves to be a major factor.

Unemployment Rate By Education Level
However, when you dig into the average unemployment rate and consider education level you find even worse news for those without a high school diploma. These seasonally adjusted numbers are listed as of August 2012:
 

Salary expectations by education level (2013).
Less than high school $471.00 per week / 12.4% unemployment
High school  $652.00 per week / 8.3%
Some college  $727.00 per week / 7.7%
Associates degree $785.00 per week / 6.2%
Bachelors degree $1,066 per week / 4.5%
Masters degree $1,300 per week / 3.5%
Professional degree $1,735 per week / 2.1%
Doctoral degree $1,624 per week / 2.5%
Source: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

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