It’s true. The average college tuition cost has been rising insanely quickly, much faster than inflation over the past several decades. And that seems like a very scary fact.Many students and parent’s of students will look at the average college tuition price, especially at a highly ranked four year university and simply keel over from sticker shock.”It’s frightening, as scary as any gory horror flick.”With such high costs, a lot of people are asking…is a college education worth it anymore? Is a college degree worth the financial struggle and sacrifice? The answer – perhaps surprisingly, is that it’s still very worth it.If we don’t want to be trapped in a dead end job flipping burgers or pushing papers around a desk we need a college degree. Think about it, there is a growing gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in our society, the gap between rich and poor is an ever widening chasm and the middle class is shrinking.That means we have a simple choice – either slide down in the lower income classes of society or “pony up” the average college tuition cost and move into the upper middle income classes.The simple fact is that education is the number one factor that determines how much money a person will make. The numbers don’t lie. A college graduate makes an average of one million dollars more, over a life time, than a non-college graduate. Would you prefer to retire on $100,000 or $1,000,000? That is an easy choice for most people.When you think about it that way, all of a sudden the average college tuition price doesn’t appear so scary.It’s not that a high school graduate can’t become the next Bill Gates and make billions, it can happen; however the overwhelming majority of us with just a high school degree will struggle mightily with their finances throughout our lifetimes. The good paying lower education jobs just aren’t there.The Hard NumbersThe median college tuition cost for a community college is right around $2,700 per year (so, around $5,400 for two years). Not a bad little investment to jump into a career making perhaps $30,000 to $40,000 a year. If you believe you can easily make that amount of money with a high school degree, you’d be mistaken.A Bachelor’s Degree from a state funded institution will cost around $36,000, over four years, or approximately $9,000 per year. Choosing an in-state school can bring that cost down to around $30,400, on average. Saving $6,000 along with high interest payments on student loans (most us will have to take out loans) adds up to a big chuck of change.And finally, a private university will cost something in the neighbor of $108,000 dollars these days, the top U.S. Schools and colleges will cost around $140,000 dollars give or take. However students graduating for these schools stand to make salaries in the $100,000 range fairly quickly.The average college tuition cost is certainly not chump change, but don’t listen to the fear mongers who tell you it’s a waste of money. The numbers firmly support the fact that a college education is a very smart investment, the alternative most likely imprisons us in a life of constant financial hardship.