SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Despite rising tuition and growing student loan debt, college is still a good investment, according to a new report.

The Public Policy Institute of California, a San Francisco-based nonpartisan think tank that examines economic and social issues in the state, released the findings Tuesday.

College graduates, according to the report, simply are better off than those without a degree.

“Their wages and employment prospects are very strong. And the amount of debt that most undergraduates are taking on in California is really pretty manageable,” said PPIC senior research fellow and study author Hans Johnson.

He added that it’s not just computer science and engineering majors who fare well after college. Graduates with a degree in the humanities have little reason to worry, according to Johnson.

“Even those students earn far more than a high school graduate. And even for those students the answer to the question ‘is college worth it?’ is still a resounding yes,” said Johnson.

“There are a lot of benefits to having a more highly educated populous, that are experienced by everyone,” Johnson added. Among the benefits: graduates who make more money pay higher taxes, and are less likely to depend on cash-strapped social services.

The report does acknowledge that students often take on tens of thousands of dollars in debt to pay for college, and he recommends that state policymakers prioritize helping families find a way to pay for college.

“We need to ensure that those loans are as affordable as possible and that students who are taking out those loans are at places where they have a good chance of graduating,” he said.

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