Going to college is part of the American dream, but it’s expensive. So expensive, in fact, that new research from the non-profit organization The College Board reveals it takes 12 years to earn back the cost of college. Researchers measured this by tuition paid, plus wages lost from not being in the workforce for four years. Still, it doesn’t mean we should give up on sending kids to college. They also uncovered that degree-holders have median earnings that are 67 percent, or $24,600, higher than high-school graduates. College grads are also more likely to volunteer, exercise, vote in elections, and have job benefits like health insurance.