Education Pays


Higher education pays, literally.  The more education you have, the more money you are likely to earn during your lifetime.  Of course there will always be exceptions, but as a general rule research has shown that the correlation between higher education and lifetime income holds true.  The following table demonstrates this.  In  my research I found several such tables, but just to be conservative, I chose this one, which lists lower levels of extra earnings compared to most of the others.  So, in your mind, you can add “at least” to the “Addl Income” column.


This table also demonstrates another important general fact.  The more people earn, the more taxes they pay.  Thus, higher education benefits the government, and therefore ALL of us.


This table is based on a 40 year career.  There is another subtle fact to consider here: the earlier in life you complete your education, the more you will earn, since your “working years” will last longer.  If you were to complete a Ph.D. by age 24 or 25, you would probably have a 40 year career during which you will earn money.  On the other hand, if you complete a Bachelor’s degree at age 35, you will probably have only about 30 years in which to earn money before you retire. 



Progressive Financial Gains with Increasing Education (As of 2004)

                                                                        Lifetime (40 yr working)             

Educ Level        Avg. Inc      Taxes     Addl  Income   Addl  Taxes     


                                                                  HS graduate          30,800         6,500              n/a                   n/a

                                                                  AA degree             37,600         8,400          272,000            76,000

                                                                  BA/BS degree       49,900       11,800          764,000          212,000

                                                                  Master’s Degree   59,500       14,500       1,148,000          320,000

                                                                  Doctorate              79,400       20,300       1,944,000          552,000


(based on data from: “Education Pays,” College Board, 2004):


Financial Advantages of Beginning Your Higher Education at a Community College

If you begin your higher education at a community college, you can probably save enough money over the cost of the first two years of a four year college or university that you can transfer to such an institution in your junior year and pay for all of your expenses from the money you saved in your first two years.  The following table summarizes this fact:

                                                                                                                               Total Savings in

                                                                      Dorm               Tuition                    First Two Years

                                     College                  Costs             Cost/Year       Tuit Only    Rm/Bd*     Total   

                                     Columbia                 9,937               37,223              66,934       12,674       79,608              

                                     Yale                       11,000               36,500              65,488       14,800       80,288

                                     N.Y.U.                    12,200              35,290               63,068       17,200       80,268

                                     Harvard                 10,622               34,998               62,484       14,044      76,528

                                     Fordham               12,300               32,720               53,920       17,400      71,320


                                     Adelphi                    9,900                27,900              48,288       12,600       60,888

                                     L.I.U.                       9,512                25,750              43,988        11,824      55,812

                                     Dowling                 10,200               20,820               34,128       13,200      47,328

                                     St. Joseph’s       (no dorms)           14,000               20,488          N/A         20,488


                                     SUNY S.B.              8,734                  5,760                4,008        10,268      14,276

                                     SCCC                                                3,756**                                               (base)


 *Assumes 3,600/yr costs to live at home

**None of the tuition costs listed include fees, which vary greatly and can be quite substantial


Source of data: various College and University web sites

Costs not including scholarships, tuition assistance, military credit, subsidized loans, etc.

Costs estimated in Fall, 2009



For more details about Suffolk County Community College, go online to:





Follow the link below to read about a real person who describes how he benefitted from the opportunities of a community college education:



What is the difference between an education at a public institution and one at an Ivy League school?  William Deresiewicz, who has graduated from and taught in Ivy League universities, offers some unsettling ideas about the connection between education and social class. This is a lengthy essay, but well worth reading.





Ten Reasons to Choose Suffolk County Community College


1. Quality Education

2.  Low Tuition

3.  Small Classes

4.  Excellent Faculty

5.  Wide Range of Programs

6.    Three Convenient Locations in Suffolk County

7.   Flexible Scheduling

8.   Scholarships

9.   Honors Program


10.   Student Life


General Facts About Suffolk County Community College

SCCC was founded in 1959 and first held classes at what is now its Ammerman Campus in Selden.

As of Fall, 2009, SCCC had over 24,500 students enrolled, the highest college enrollment in NYS.

Slightly less than 50% of SCCC’s students attend part time.

More than 25% of SCCC’s students are over age 25.  Fifty-six percent of its students are females.

SCCC has no dormitories on any of its three campuses.

SCCC awards three academic degrees (A.S., A.A.S., A.A.) and over 65 certificate and licensing programs.

SCCC hosts the Suffolk County Police Academy on its Grant Campus in Brentwood.

Each of SCCC’s three main campuses offer off-site educational opportunities at local high schools, libraries and worksites.  SCCC has offered lunch-time courses for County employees at County facilities.

SCCC offers pure online courses as well as “hybrid” (or “blended”) courses.  Recently the college became 100% wi-fi

            equipped and expects soon to expand its ability to use the internet in the classroom.

The student to teacher ratio at SCCC is approximately 19 to 1.

SCCC also offers a wide range of services to its students, including career counseling, job placement, special services, day care, financial aid, and many others.

SCCC is accredited by several academic accreditation organizations, including the Middle States Association.  It’s credits are widely accepted amongst colleges and universities.

Students report attending SCCC for the following reasons:               


               -In order to qualify to transition to a 4 year university.

               -In order to save money on tuition during their first two year’s of college.

               -In order to attend college close to home.

               -To earn certification in order to gain a skill to be qualified for a specific job.

               -To take specific courses to improve current job skills.

               -To prepare for a new/different career.

               -As adults to return to college or to earn a degree part-time over a period of time.

               -To take continuing Education (usually non-credit) courses in order to qualify for certain

       professional licensing or just for fun.



Suffolk County Community College's Mission


The mission of Suffolk County Community College is to “promote intellectual discovery, physical development, social and ethical awareness, and economic opportunities for all through an education that transforms lives, builds communities, and improves society.”


SCCC is committed to “universal access to higher education.”  Its general admission policy is “open enrollment.”  Part time students usually require only a high school education.  Full-time, matriculated students are usually required to have a high school average of 75 or better.  Some programs, such as nursing, accounting and some science programs, require higher grades and/or specific prior academic accomplishments.