Even as the cost of college continues to rise, the long-term financial benefits of a four-year college degree remain indisputable. Adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree have better economic outcomes on average, than adults who have not completed college, including earning more and accumulating more wealth.
But the economic benefits are not felt equally among college graduates, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve Board. Graduates who have a parent with a bachelor’s degree or more education have substantially higher incomes and more wealth, than first-generation college graduates. And Americans who have at least one college-educated parent are far more likely to complete college, compared with adults whose parents are less educated.