Gayla Evans knows the value of an education. After spending years working in jobs that presented her little chance of making good money, she decided to get her Bachelor’s degree in business. Evans says, “I have a six year old. I knew to better myself and to make a greater impact on him, I needed to get an education.” According to a Pew Research Center study released this week, young adults with only a high school diploma earn 48% less than those with a Bachelor’s degree. The earnings gap has more than doubled since 1965 when the first study on the subject was conducted. Dr. Kimberly Scherlofsky, an Admissions Counselor, says, “More and more employers want people educated in a particular field to join their work force. It’s not just about who can do the job, it’s about who is the best educated to do it.” The Pew study shows that young adults with a Bachelor’s degree earn $17,500 a year more than those with just a high school diploma.
According to a separate poll by Pew, nine out of ten college graduates ages 25 to 32 are confident that their Bachelor’s degree will pay off in the long run. Since 2008, tuition at U.S.M. has increased 32%. Despite the increase in rates, enrollment has remained stable. Evans now works for the U.S.M. as an Administrative Assistant. She plans on entering into a Master’s program for Business Administration in the fall. She says her motivation went beyond money. She wants to set an example for her son. Evans closes, “I wanted to ensure that he could look at me and say, ‘Well, my momma did it, so I need to do it.’” Tomorrow, U.S.M.'s Gulf Park campus is hosting its first ever open house to show case all of its Bachelor’s programs. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free to anyone who is interested.