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October 23, 2021

Catholic high schoolers earn more than any other grads: report

When I daydream about striking it rich, winning one of those hulking, monstrous Powerball-like lotto payouts, I often take great pains to insist how normal I’d stay.

Despite my newfound riches – make that newfound fake riches – one of my favourite refrains is how I’d still avoid sending my children – er, make that fake children – to a private school.

It’s a sweeping stereotype I’ve got in my head (that private school students coming from a family of means have a higher sense of entitlement), but one I’d want to avoid at all costs.

Perhaps, though, the notion is wrong. By a new study, it isn’t private school grads that are destined to earn the most money in their careers, but rather alumni of another type of education.

St. Louis Fed researchers Michael T. Owyang and E. Katarina Vermann recently decided to compare the three chief types of education systems – public, private and Catholic – to see how the trio affects its graduates.

*Bing: The most expensive universities in Canada

The study pinned down results based on which grads were most likely to earn a bachelor’s degree (private schoolers were) and which were most likely to enrol in even higher education (Catholic schoolers were) in the U.S.

But most relevant to this space was the study’s third finding: which grads earned the most money in their careers.

In full disclosure, the research is a bit complicated, and doesn’t neatly break down into a stat like “Graduates X earn $15,000 more per year than Graduates Y.” Instead, it weighs metrics like the socioeconomic backgrounds of students and how much teachers are paid at each school, and compares them in a relative sense.

Yet what comes out is clear. Perhaps surprisingly, it is Catholic students that earn the highest salaries of all three school systems.

According to the St. Louis Fed research, Catholic high school graduates earn a 13.6 per cent wage premium, highest of the three education types.

Chalk that up to the grace of God or at least the principles with which Catholicism is taught, but at the end of the day, it appears, it’s Catholic students that are best prepared to earn in the real world.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...