By now most people know that college graduates make more money than those who never complete college. But considering the time out of work necessary to go to college there is now some question about whether or not college is really worth it. All that debt just for some entry level job. That’s depressing.

Well it turns out it may not be quite that bad. According to an article by Mary Beth Marklein in USA Today:

For the typical student attending a four-year public university, the financial investment in college begins to pay off at about age 33, a report says Tuesday.

Compared with a high school graduate, the typical four-year college graduate who enrolled in a public university at age 18 has earned enough by then to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years and for borrowing enough to pay tuition and fees without grant aid.

This information comes from College Pays, a report of information about college attendance and income issued periodically by the College Board, the non-profit that sells standardized tests commonly used to measure student intelligence.

The earnings did not appear to take into account academic debt in the calculation of the total payoff of college.

Charles Miller, chairman of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, said that the 2008 College Board report was “cheerleader” and didn’t provide “a clear and accurate picture of the dangerous financial deterioration of our higher-education system.”

Read the new report here.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer