Lifetime earnings boost from college education smaller than touted

Post-college earning less than you think
Post-college earning less than you think

The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell this week, noting with little fanfare (subscription required) that the college degrees we're told are a ticket to wealth and happiness aren't all they've been cracked up to be.

The College Board, a glorified trade group representing the interests of colleges and universities, has long touted an $800,000 lifetime earnings advantage for college grads. Now other researchers, armed with more rigorous data, are suggesting that the lifetime earnings advantage of college may be less -- a lot less. Mark Schneider of the American Institutes for Research calculated that the lifetime earnings advantage of a college degree is just $279,893.