University of Hawaiʻi education a strong investment

March 14, 2017  |   |  Comments
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Four students near Shidler

Each year in Hawaiʻi, more than 11,000 graduating seniors must decide whether to attend college or join the workforce. In the short term, going to college is costly, however, in the long term, the investment in college pays off handsomely through a lifetime of higher earnings. A University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report estimates the overall rate of return for a University of Hawaiʻi degree for those who continue to reside in Hawaiʻi is approximately 11 percent.

On average, for each $1 a UH student invests in their associate’s degree, they receive $13.84 in increased lifetime earnings. For bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees, the effective lifetime returns on each $1 are $11.09 and $8.65, respectively.

Additional UHERO findings

  • On average, an adult with an associate’s degree makes $360,000 more than a high school graduate over a lifetime of living and working in Hawaiʻi. This lifetime earnings difference is $950,000 for an adult with a bachelor’s degree and $1,560,000 for an adult with a post-graduate degree.
  • A bachelor’s degree from UH has a rate of return of 13.5 percent for men due to an expected increase in lifetime earnings of $1.5 million. Women see a lower rate of return of 10 percent with an expected increase in lifetime earnings of $640,000.
  • A post-graduate degree from UH has a rate of return of 13.5 percent for men due to an expected increase in lifetime earnings of $2.9 million. Women see a lower rate of return of 9.7 percent with an expected increase in lifetime earnings of $1 million.
  • An associateʻs degree from a UH community college has a rate of return of 10.8 percent for men due to an expected increase in lifetime earnings of almost $300,000. Women see a similar rate of return of 10.7 percent due to an expected increase in lifetime earnings of nearly $400,000.

For the full public summary go to the UHERO website.

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Category: Research

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