Does college pay? Site shows risks, rewards

Whether college pays — in dollars — depends on where you go and what you study. College Risk Report, a web site created by 29-year-old Jared Moore, asks the collegebound to enter their prospective college or university and their major. It estimates how long it would take to pay off a bachelor’s degree and compares that to the payoff for an associate degree at an “average” community college or a high school diploma.

Forbes asked the site to analyze the time needed to pay off loans for an art degree from a small liberal arts college, Marymount Manhattan.

Earning a four-year degree in art would pay less over a lifetime than getting a two-year degree or “simply being an artist right out of high school,” notes Forbes.  An engineering degree from a state university has a faster payoff and is worth much more than two-year degree.

The site now reports on the cost and value of the “average” community college but hopes to add data for specific colleges and associate degrees.