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A bachelor's degree requires less in loans than a car

auto debt vs. student debt

Automotive debt is at an all-time high with the average outstanding debt per auto loan at close to $33,000, about the cost of a nicely-equipped Chevy Malibu. However, there is no public outcry about the rising amount of automotive loan debt.

Low-income students in MI choose 4-year degrees over 2-year degrees

low-income student enrollment by sector

Obtaining a 4-year degree is essential for long-term success in today's economy. The Independent Indicators issue from March 6, 2018 highlights the $18,000 annual average wage premium for those with a 4-degree compared to a 2-year degree in Michigan.

Do Michigan's students recognize this difference and select a more valuable degree?

Independent colleges are more efficient than public universities

students per employee

Higher education institutions in Michigan are run with varying levels of efficiency. One way to measure efficiency is calculating the number of students per full-time employee.

Comparing independent, non-profit colleges and universities in Michigan highlights that independent higher education institutions are able to run more efficiently than their public counterparts.

Workers with a bachelor's degree earn more in Michigan

earnings by ed attainment

Individuals with a bachelor's degree earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma and 50 percent more than individuals who have some college or an associate's degree. A bachelor's degree matters for earnings and Michigan's economy.

Earning a bachelor's degree is associated with higher earnings, economic security, health, and other positive outcomes. But how much greater is the typical income for those with a bachelor's degree compared to those who do not have one in Michigan?

Nearly half of STEM grads go into a different career

STEM grad career field

Many students do not go into a career related to their college major. Nationally, 48 percent of STEM-trained college grads go into a non-STEM career field.

Research studies have found that a bachelor's degree, in any area of study, is important for future earnings and career growth. Data shows that many college graduates go into a career field that is not directly related to their undergraduate major.


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