Your earning potential is likely to increase by earning a college degree. Research shows that individuals with an associate's degree or higher are likely to receive median weekly earnings that are $150 more than those with a high school diploma. Additionally, overall percentage growth for these weekly earnings increases at a much higher rate because the growth is compounded by the higher rate of pay. In essence, the gap between the median rates of pay for individuals at each of the educational levels continues to grow over time. Finally, the lifetime earning potential for individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher is significant ($2.7 million vs. $1.9 million in 2005), suggesting that staying on to continue a 4-year instead of just a 2-year degree will pay for itself in less than a decade under even the most extreme projections.