Delaying college one year could cost students $90K of lifetime earnings

Due to the uncertainty of the on-campus college experience this fall, some high school graduates may be considering sitting out this year and waiting on fall 2021 to begin their higher education enrollment. Class of 2024 students who do make that decision could lose $90,000 throughout their lifetime.

According to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “Taking a gap year reduces the return to college by a quarter and can cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost lifetime earnings.”

Motlow State classes begin Aug. 24, and there is still time for prospective students to apply. Returning students should register for fall 2020 classes as soon as possible. Motlow will hold an on-campus Enrollment Day Aug. 10 in Fayetteville.

CBS News, referencing the same report, says, “About half of the long-term earnings losses come from forgoing the $43,000 salary that new graduates typically earn in their first year of work after graduation.”

"You miss that in your first year, and then you are behind for the whole rest of your career," New York Fed economists told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Wage increases are steeper at the beginning of young professionals' careers — the graduate who earns their degree at age 22 can, by the time they are 25, expect to earn an average of $52,000, according to the analysis by economists Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz. 

"Being a year behind, these differences add up each year, so that those graduating later never catch up to those who graduated earlier. Together, these costs add up to more than $90,000 over one's working life, which erodes the value of a college degree," Abel and Deitz write. 

Motlow encourages 2020 high school graduates to apply today at Don’t let today’s challenges cost you thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime.

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