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Board of Regents: Arizona college grads earn way more than peers with a diploma

(Photo:Tom Story/ASU)

PHOENIX — There are two big reasons why students choose to go to college instead of entering the workforce right away. One is to stay enlightened and continue to grow in one’s education. Another is the pursuit of one’s dream job.

According to the Arizona Board of Regents, going to one of its state’s public universities pays in more than those two reasons.

In fact, it usually pays at least $20,000 more per year.

The Board of Regents announced that they conducted an analysis and found that Arizonans with an undergraduate degree earn a median wage that is close to $20,000 more each year than those with just a high school diploma. Those who earned a graduate degree in Arizona earn almost $33,000 more than those who didn’t get any college education.

“This compelling data underscores the value of our public universities – not only to our graduates, but to Arizona’s overall workforce and economy. It also reflects success for our students that is achieved through strong partnerships with community colleges that enable seamless transfers to our universities,” said Eileen Klein, president of the Arizona Board of Regents. “Moreover, the data contained in this report demonstrates the long-term benefits that come with investing in an Arizona public university education – including improved earnings potential and a strengthened Arizona tax base. Arizona’s public universities continue to be a primary economic driver for our state and individual prosperity.”

The analysis was conducted between the years of 1990 and 2015, and earnings history was looked at of those from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

Median annual earnings for Arizonans with an undergraduate degree were found to total $49,801, and a $60,884 median for graduate degree earners. People with no college education had median annual earnings of $27,947.

Total earnings were nearly $15.7 billion among the 271,197 degree earners who graduated from an Arizona public university in the same time frame.

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