In a world of limited resources, deciding what investment will produce the greatest return can be difficult. One of the first things to consider when looking at an investment, is will it increase in value? Real estate, precious metals, money market accounts all gain value over the long run. They may have down periods where value is lost temporarily, but overall, they appreciate.
However, there are many large purchases that cannot really be considered investments at all. These purchases always lose value. A car is one of these purchases. High end vehicles, like a BMW, are no different. Its starting value is higher, but within just a few years, it will be worth a small fraction of its original value.
Education a different kind of purchase or investment all together; it is an investment in yourself. As such it is very dependent on the person being invested in. While there is most certainly a monetary investment in a college education, time and energy are equally as important in seeing a return on that financial investment.
While there are college degree programs that will lead to higher paying careers than others, for example an engineering major will likely make more out of college than a Spanish literature major, however all degree programs increase your earning potential when compared with no degree at all.
A study by the College Board (Education Pays) found that on average, a person will make $800,000 more over their lifetime, than someone with only a high school diploma. College is an increasingly large investment. Top colleges can cost over $30,000 in tuition alone each year. However, it is easy to see that even at the most expensive schools, college graduates get a return on their investment.
Beyond financial gain, there are additional returns to be reaped from a college education. College graduates have a much broader range of career choices and are more likely to find a career they will be happy in. They also have the opportunity of experiencing all of the personal growth that comes from learning to live with roommates, interacting with different people and being exposed to new ideas.
Even the nicest BMW will eventually rust and stop working, but a college education can serve you a lifetime. College education is an investment you make in yourself that will never stop paying dividends.