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by Becton Loveless Earning a college degree is such an important step in life that it has become a central part of the "American Dream".
That combination of benefits is why so many people make the investment of time and money to go to college.
Often times it's not necessarily what you study, but the fact that you studied something at all.
This translates to a significant earnings gap over the course of one's life.
Earnings potential varies depending on what field you work in.
If you enter one of these fields, you're likely to find a good job somewhere – even if it doesn't pay as well a job in engineering or business.
There is still an income disparity in gender and race.
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Studies show that college graduates earn significantly more money throughout their lifetime than those with only high school education.
According to a national report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (sheeo.org), high school graduates earn an average of almost ,000 per year.