Should You Go to Grad School?

Your personal financial situation should be a big factor in making this decision.

Numbers alone shouldn't dictate whether you go back to school for an advanced degree, but they sure can help you decide. On the pro side of graduate school, more education typically leads to greater income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average high school grad can expect to earn $1.4 million over the course of his career; lifetime earnings climb to $2.4 million for someone with a bachelor's degree, $2.8 million for a master's and $3.5 million for a PhD. Unemployment rates also tend to improve with higher levels of education.

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor,

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.