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New study sheds light on wages after college education

UA Students
Posted at 5:59 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 19:59:08-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's an old adage: You go to college so you can make a good living. But a new study is showing confidence in education is decreasing, with some leaving college with massive debt only to enter a minimum wage job.

KGUN 9's Denelle Veselik dives into the numbers and talks to college students to see just what a degree is doing for them.

A new study from the HEA Group, that analyzes data from the Department of Education, says 1-in-4 college grads will make less money than a high school graduate.

Students we talked to say they thought college would help them make a good living, at least eventually.

"Probably not at first, but eventually hopefully," Aspen Banramshorst said.

"I feel like like I said, I'd be starting at the bottom, but I feel like making those connections and just building your resume," Anna Macpherson, a UA student said. "Building your leadership skills, will obviously help you in the long run. Become higher up."

The U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard showed out of 3,887 institutions, 852 schools show the majority of students earning below a $15 per hour wage; 455 of them show a slightly higher income, with students netting between $30,000 and $35,000 a year.

"I mean, I don't feel great about that, but i just hope I'm not one of those four students and yea, you got to pay back student debts and stuff but I do still think there is a lot of value to a college degree," Zane Ellwood, UA Student said.

Denelle Veselik is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. It's been her dream to tell your stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue to use her storytelling for the greater good. Share your story ideas and important issues with Denelle by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and X/Twitter.