Too expensive for many, college degree makes difference in earning potential

SPRINGFIELD — Your kid’s off to college? Congratulations. Condolences.
Illinois senators have heard the story of college affordability, or the lack of it, from a panel of experts.
“Over the last five years, Illinois has become less affordable, faster, for middle- and low-income families than almost any other state in the Union,” said Jim Applegate, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
A University of Illinois instructor is more optimistic, pointing to the $1 million in lifetime earnings that separates the bachelor’s degree holders from the others. Jennifer Delaney, assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, gives an anecdote about a college dropout she read online: “Mr. Gates wrote, ‘Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much shorter path to success.’ And he is right!”
The Mr. Gates of whom she speaks is Bill. His company is Microsoft.