More Americans (mistakenly) doubt college is a good investment

Money-filled Mason jar labeled

It looks like more people are giving one of the best financial decisions they can make the cold shoulder.

According to an annual survey sponsored by Country Financial, only 57% of adults believe that college is a good financial investment for young adults, down from 81% in 2008.

The growing notion that college is no longer worth the cost is an alarming trend that needs to be stopped in its tracks.

There are two very persuasive reasons why it pays to have a college degree.

First, it’s easier to get a job.

The unemployment rate for high school graduates 25 and up with no college degree was 8.4% in June, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shoots up past 12% for those without a high school diploma.

But for those with at least a bachelor's degree, it was a considerably lower 4.1%. That's less than half the rate of those with a high school degree and almost a third of those without a diploma.

You can also expect to earn a lot more with college degree.

A report put out by the Census Bureau last year showed workers with a bachelor’s degree earned, on average, $20,000 a year more than those with just a high school diploma.

Over a lifetime, that can add up to millions more in earnings, depending on education level and individual circumstances.

No wonder the survey found that more than 70% of the adults it polled who made more than $100,000 a year saw college as a good investment.

There’s absolutely no reason to believe that these gaps between college grads and less-educated workers won’t grow over the next several decades.

Don't get us wrong. We're just as concerned about the rising price of education as you are. College tuition costs are out of control, and student loans aren't getting any cheaper.

But you need a better education to survive in an economy where so many manufacturing workers are having their wages and benefits slashed or their jobs shipped overseas.

Just be smart about where you go to school, weighing the cost of in-state versus out-of-state and private versus public.

And pick a major or get trained in a skill set where there is some demand.

It's pure dollars-and-cents -- college remains a solid investment. You just have to be smart about it.

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