Despite the exams, stress and tuition fees, college certainly pays off, according to one managing director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).
"(A) four year college degree is a better investment for you personally than investing in the stock market," Sarj Nahal, managing director and head of thematic investing at BAML told CNBC, discussing the bank's latest "Let's Get Smart" report.
According to Nahal, education imbalance is the "biggest civil rights issue of our era." Placing the issue in perspective, Nahal said that "eight days' worth of military spending would be the equivalent of educating everybody around the world up to secondary level."
BAML's research revealed that a perceived 100-year education imbalance between developed and emerging markets is incurring a significant loss to the global economy, which could "exacerbate inequality, discontent and unrest." It estimated that $1.8 trillion in global GDP (gross domestic product) will be lost by 2050. A $3 trillion boost would be seen if education for all was to be achieved, Nahal added.