Despite cost, millennials value higher ed: Credit Sesame

July 23, 2015

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (7/23/15)--With the Class of 2015 graduating with the most student loan debt in American history, do these graduates find their education worth the price of the loan? For millennials, born between 1981 and 2004, the answer is “Yes,” according to a poll by Credit Sesame.

Seventy-six percent of millennials say that college is worth the price, compared with 68% of Gen X, born between 1964 and 1980, said the credit management website (July 13).

Millennials have a more positive opinion of college and the costs of their education than do their counterparts in Gen X. Millennials also know the value of a four-year degree in the workplace and are being more pragmatic about which fields they choose to study, said Credit Sesame.

Its poll of 500 university graduates compares millennials with Gen Xers in terms of parents’ income, the cost of their university education, how future potential salaries impact the decision for a major, and whether college is worth the price.

Other findings:

  • Millennials’ parents earned more money. Ten percent earned more than $150,000 a year and 25% earned more than $110,000 a year. That compares with 3% and 4%, respectively, for Gen X’s parents. Nearly one-third of Gen X parents earned less than $32,000 a year, compared with 16% of millennial parents;
  • More than one-fourth of millennials and 6% of Gen Xers paid $25,000 or more per year for university tuition. Half of Gen Xers paid less than $10,000 a year for tuition, compared with 27% of millennials; and
  • More than twice as many millennials said salary was an important factor in selecting a major, 33% to the Gen X’s 14%. According to Department of Labor statistics, Americans with four-year college degrees made 98% more an hour on average during 2013 than those without a degree.