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College 101

High School Diploma...Are You Sure?
Article Type: Quick and Dirty

First of all, do you like money?

If so, let’s talk earnings. The average yearly income for someone with an Associate’s Degree is around $37,000 a year. Remember, an Associate's Degree is what you can get at a two-year community, technical, or junior college. For a person with a Bachelor’s Degree, it is more like $45,000.

Know what it is for someone with just a High School diploma? Right around 30 grand. That’s a $15,000 a year difference in earnings between a diploma holder and a Bachelor’s holder. Stretch that out over a working lifetime, and you are talking a difference of almost three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings.

Speaking of making money, most people do it with a job. Are you planning on getting a job after you graduate from high school? We hope you are in the lucky group, as the unemployment rate for high school graduates is at about 34.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compare that to around 17% for college grads, and the future looks a little bit iffier.

Speaking of the future, you never know when working your entry-level job when you might need health care. Sure, you are a healthy high school student now, but that can change pretty quickly. Consider that only about 7% of high school graduates receive health insurance from their employers (it’s more than four times that for college grads). So go ahead and work health insurance into your budget.

Still shooting for just the diploma? Fine with us, we just wanted to give you the facts.

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