Is college worth it?

The answer, if you couldn’t tell from our name, is yes. Now more than ever, as the gap between those who are born into opportunity and the rest of us grows, a college degree is the great equalizer.

Degrees Make the Difference is a global conversation about the value of a college education. Welcome.

5 Reasons to Earn a College Degree

The world has changed dramatically, and so has higher education. With the internet at our fingertips, many are wondering if a diploma is the best way to reach their career potential. Here are five ways that degrees can still make the difference.

Give your kids (and their kids) a better shot.

70% of adults with a college-educated parent have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 26% of those without a college-educated parent.[2] When you finish your degree, you give a generation-spanning gift to your community. Your great-great-great-grandkids will thank you.

Conquer the gap.

Obviously, the most privileged among us can afford college. But did you know that many students graduate debt-free?[2] Or that most colleges will work with you to come up with a manageable repayment plan?

Become more hirable. Instantly.

You may think the value of a degree depends on what you study, but graduating itself improves your odds of getting hired.[4] Even in fields that don’t require a degree, like many tech careers, hiring managers tend to prefer candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree program.

Make more money from day one.

Here’s a fact that may be startling: For the average person who doesn’t have a college degree, it takes thirty years to reach the salary that their degree-holding counterpart makes when starting a new job.[1] That’s to say nothing of the other benefits of higher education. Speaking of which…

Build a lifetime of relationships.

Colleges are invested in the success of their alumni, and many offer a plethora of resources for the rest of their graduates’ working lives. That’s especially valuable for students from under-resourced communities who may not have access to professional connections through family.

The Difference by the Numbers


How long it takes a high school grad on average to earn a college grad’s starting salary.[1]


How much a college degree can add to your lifetime earnings.[3]


How many jobs created since 2008 require a bachelor’s degree.[4]


How much more likely you are to face unemployment without a degree.[5]


How many college grads owe nothing after graduation.[3]


Tell Your Story

Tell us how a degree made the difference to you.

The many paths that lead to a college degree—and a lifetime of opportunity—are worth celebrating. We want to hear how a degree made the difference to you in a short video. It will only take a few minutes, and your story may inspire someone to reach their potential. Just follow these instructions:


1. Getting Set Up

  • Pick a quiet spot with minimum visual distractions and good light.
  • Wear solid colors. Avoid patterns, brands and labels.
  • Frame yourself from the shoulders up using your phone, tablet or camera.
  • Make sure you can be clearly seen and heard.

2. I’m Ready to Record

  • Once you’re ready, hit record, look into the camera and answer these questions:
  • What is your name and degree? (ex: "I’m Jane Rogers, and I have a BA in English.")
  • What has your degree helped you accomplish? (ex: With my degree, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a high school teacher.)
  • What about earning your degree makes you proud?
  • To sign off, say: “My name is____, and my degree made the difference.”

3. #DegreesMakeTheDifference

  • Make sure your video is under one minute.
  • Post your video to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #DegreesMakeTheDifference. If you’d like, tag a few friends who might like to share their stories too.

We can’t wait to see how your degree has made the difference to your life!

Watch a Sample Video
1Blair, Peter Q, Papia Debroy, and Justin Heck. Working paper. Skills, Degrees and Labor Market Inequality. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2021.
2Fry, Richard. “First-Generation College Graduates Lag behind Their Peers on Key Economic Outcomes.” Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. Pew Research Center, May 28, 2021.
3Looney, Adam, David Wessel, and Kadija Yilla. “Who Owes All That Student Debt? and Who'd Benefit If It Were Forgiven?” Brookings. Brookings, July 12, 2021.
4Newton, Derek. “Even More Reasons You Should Get a College Degree.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, July 31, 2021.
5Staff. “Unemployment No Problem ... with College Degree.”, June 12, 2018.