If you want an income that's above the median, you need at least a bachelor's degree.
As Ohio's educational attainment has climbed, so also has per capita income, but there is still room for improvement.
Finishing a bachelor's degree on time yields an immediate payoff.
Even in a recession, a college education is the best preparation for the labor market.
The benefit earned as a result of workforce development such as a certificate and associate degree program varies depending on the sector where you choose to enroll.
In the last decade, external causes appear to have overwhelmed the effect on income usually expected from the increase in the number of Ohioans who have earned at least a bachelor's degree.
A major new study of graduations at public colleges and universities - including Ohio's - offers further evidence of targeting student aid rather than tuition level in helping needy students complete their degrees. While net cost of attendance has no measurable effect in the graduation rates of well-off students seeking bachelor's degrees in the public sector, it has a major, statistically significant effect on those with the least ability to pay and the greatest need for financial aid.
Side-by-side or one atop the other, there's nearly no difference in the income profile of full-time undergraduates at Ohio's four-year public or independent campuses. If anything, the typical student at a private nonprofit college is less wealthy.
Compared to independent colleges, Ohio's public universities educate more than twice as many students from the state's wealthiest families.
Not only does completing a bachelor's degree mean more time at work, but propotionately more income. For every dollar earned by a bachelor's degree holder, an associate degree holder earns just 69 cents.
Median Family Income v. Educational Attainment By State, 2006
Source: US Census Bureau
States whose populations have proportionately more bachelor's degrees than Ohio also have higher family incomes.
Family Income Distribution at Ohio 4-Year Colleges and Universities AY 2003-04
Economically speaking, the undergraduate student bodies of Ohio's public and independent colleges and universities are nearly identical.
Source: Family income survey of ACT and SAT takers enrolled in Ohio institutions, via Ohio Board of Regents