It pays to go to college. Literally. A new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington found that the wage difference between college graduates and non-degree holders is at a record. People with college degrees make 98 percent more an hour than people without, up from 89 percent just five years ago. In fact, MIT economist David Autor found that not getting a college degree costs someone about half a million dollars. College debt may still be a real fear and hardship, but it's a relatively small cost in the long term. The average $25,000 in student debt doesn't hold a candle to the $500,000 to be made over a lifetime.