Re-Enrolling and Finishing Degrees Boosts Income

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Students who return to college and finish their bachelor’s degrees have immediate increases in annual income after graduation, as well as increases in income growth each year that follows, a new study from Kansas State University found.

Amanda Gaulke, assistant professor of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences at KSU and researcher for the study, found that students who return to college and finish their bachelor’s degrees earn on average $4,294 more immediately after graduation and see extra income growth of $1,121 per year, on average. The study, published in the Economics of Education Review, found that students who re-enroll but don’t complete their degrees also make slight income gains. The average age at graduation for students who re-enroll and finish their degrees is 27, Gaulke said in a press release, noting that those students “have a lot of working years left to experience improved labor market outcomes.”

“This information is important for people who are wondering if they should return to school,” Gaulke said. “When thinking in terms of weighing costs and benefits, it is important for those people to know that there are real economic benefits of going back and completing a bachelor’s degree.”

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