How much is a college degree worth? Time and time again, I have said that a college degree equals huge earnings over a lifetime, and it only goes up for graduate and professional degrees beyond the standard bachelor's degree.

But some economists are now doing rebuttals to this viewpoint. A couple years ago, The Wall Street Journal published an article discounting the commonly held belief that a college degree can earn you between $800,000-$1 million more over a lifetime versus a high-school graduate.

Yet they weren't saying that it's not worth more. They were just challenging the methodology which researchers used to arrive at the $800,000 figure.

On the other side of the debate, The New York Times' Economix blog recently reported the following tidbit that shows four-years degrees are becoming more necessary than ever:

"In the late 1970s, the median wage was 40 percent higher for college graduates than for people with more than a high school degree; now the wage premium is about 80 percent."

Now, college is not for everybody. I have no bones about saying that because it's true. But it's important to remember that a college degree often lends itself to a more stable work history and lower unemployment versus someone who didn't go to school.

Is the cost of college worth it? You decide...

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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