Paying for college: It’s a hot topic during the presidential debates… and around the kitchen table, as families face skyrocketing tuition costs. With the bulk of recent college grads struggling to chip away at seemingly insurmountable debt, many are asking the question, “Is a college degree really that important?”

Yes, according to Francine Andrea, VP of Administration, Enrollment & Planning at Felician College. She sat down with Steve Adubato, PhD., to discuss the benefits of a college degree — including its effect on earning potential — on Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.

“Education is the primary opportunity for everyone,” Andrea said. “When you look at cost, you have to understand what the components of that [cost] are. For a student who has a high school diploma, versus a student who receives a baccalaureate degree, the difference in income in your lifetime is over a million dollars.”

To help handle to cost of tuition, Andrea recommends that students begin thinking about college in sophomore year — not junior year, which is when most begin planning for college.

“It means thinking about, ‘What classes do you enjoy in high school? Do you like being in a big class? Do you like being in a small class?'” Even thinking about the weather, she said, can help a student determine where he or she wants to go — which will, in turn, aid them in figuring out the kinds of grants, scholarships, and federal and state aid that could be available.

For more on the real-world benefits of a college education, don’t miss this edition of Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.

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