Saving for college is important.

A college degree makes a big lifetime impact.

Most likely, you have a child in your life whose future will include a college education. If so, you probably are part of the 89% of parents who strongly value higher education and who believe that college is an investment in their child's future.1 Why is a college education so important? Whether your child attends a four-year, two-year or technical college, students learn important communication skills, expand their knowledge and open doors to countless opportunities.

Plus, college degrees can improve earnings and help safeguard jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate of those with only a high school diploma is 5.4% in 2015 compared to just 2.8% for those with a bachelor's degree. And more and more employers are now requiring a college degree.

As you can see below the average annual earnings for someone with a bachelor's degree is 67% higher than those with a high school degree.

Annual Median Earnings of Full-Time Year-Round Workers Ages 25 and Older, by Education Level2

11934_AvgAnnualEarnings_6.jpg (11934_AvgAnnualEarnings_6)

This illustration assumes:
Median Annual Earnings: Median usual weekly earnings times 52.149 weeks in a year.
Lifetime earnings: Median Annual Earnings times 42 years worked.

 Over a lifetime, those with a Bachelor's degree earn $1 million more than those with a high school degree.

1 How America Saves for College 2015 Summary Report Sallie Mae's National Study of Parents with Children Under Age 18 conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, page 8

2 U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, Data for persons age 25 and over. Current Population Survey, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment rate in 2015