Getting Rich in America Depends on a Lot More Than a College Degree

Paul FennerPersonal Finance

College Degree and Wealth

With both college and high school graduations in full swing throughout the country, this Bloomberg article Getting Rich in America Depends on a Lot More Than a College Degree posed some very interesting points that go well beyond that simply having a college degree and wealth is automatic.

Researchers William Emmons and Bryan Noeth at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis point out three other factors beyond a college degree that play a role in determining your net worth.

  • What type of family you come from
  • Whether you get an inheritance
  • How healthy you are

Education “is important, but it’s not the whole story,” Emmons, a senior economic adviser at the St. Louis Fed, said in an interview.  “You can’t simply send everyone to college and expect to solve all the social problems that we have, including problems in the job market.”

“Increasing the educational attainment alone of an individual or group is unlikely to result in all of the positive effects that are hallmarks of families with advanced education,” the researchers wrote in the paper. “Some important contributors to the economic and financial success of many highly educated people cannot be granted along with a degree.”