How much will students and their families pay to earn a million dollars?
That is a noteworthy question given that baccalaureate-degreed individuals over the course of their professional lives average $1 million more in earnings than those who have no more than a high school diploma.
Cost of greater earning power
While the prospect of earning $1 million more in income is appealing, the cost to do so continues to be a hot button issue within higher education. Tuition and other fees vary substantially among colleges and universities. But when you peel back the differences, one fact is obvious: the price tag of a college education—a Purdue education—at Purdue Calumet is among the lowest in Indiana.
During the current academic year, tuition and fees at Purdue Calumet for in-state undergraduate students is $231.95 per credit hour. So the charge for full time students enrolled in 15 credit hours in each of the fall and spring semesters—a reasonable plan for earning a baccalaureate degree in four years—is $6,958.50.
That charge is less than IU Northwest, Purdue West Lafayette and the vast majority of other Indiana colleges and universities. Add another $1,000 or so a year for textbooks, and the annual cost hovers around $8,000.
Pay $35,000 to earn $1 million?
So is it worth a four-year investment of some $35,000 give or take to earn a Purdue degree at Purdue Calumet that will pay off in earnings of $1 million?
Besides greater earning power, a four-year degree equips graduates with skills and knowledge needed to perform challenging jobs demanded by progressive, cutting edge employers—the type Indiana seeks to attract.
Such opportunities generate added revenue and value, contributing to a better developed and fortified economy for our region, state, nation and world.
Equipped for opportunities
These opportunities are why Purdue Calumet and other Indiana colleges/universities have been challenged to graduate more students with baccalaureate degrees.
In her 2013 State of Higher Education Address, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers noted that “nearly two-thirds of the jobs in Indiana this decade will require more than a high school diploma;” yet, “less than one-third of the state’s residents have a higher education.”
It is believed that a key factor in Indiana’s low ranking among adults with an education beyond high school (40th among 50 states) relates to the cost students must pay for their education. But as value and affordability go, higher education shoppers are hard pressed to find a better deal than Purdue Calumet.