It's an age-old problem: Americans were taught practically from birth to go to college—preferably one with a big name—in order to get a good job. Yet college costs are staggering, which begs the question of whether college and graduate school are worth the return on investment.
Having a degree—especially in a tough economic environment—certainly makes a difference to employment and lifetime earnings prospects, experts say. Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a high correlation between joblessness and earnings, and those with less than an associate's degree fare worse on average than workers with post-graduate credentials.
Conventional wisdom suggests that a name like Harvard, Yale or MIT would beat out either a state school or smaller liberal arts college.
However, Gallup recently partnered with Purdue to survey more than 30,000 college graduates across the country. The 2014 study arrived at a common conclusion: the name of a college or university has little to no influence on a graduate's job prospects.