Survey shows just 1 in 4 Americans think getting a college degree is worth it

With graduation season at hand, many former students are figuring out what to do next.

With high tuition costs and horror story headlines about student loans, just 25% of Americans now say getting a college degree is “extremely important” for getting a well-paying job, according to a new Pew Research poll of more than 5,200 Americans about the value of higher education. 

Forty percent said getting a college degree is either not too important or not at all important when it comes to earning. 

Coloring many of these opinions: with many institutions charging into the six figures for a four-year degree, student loan balances have hit $1.6 trillion, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve.

If you have to take out a student loan to pay for it, just 22% of the Americans polled say a four-year degree is worth it.

But 29% say it’s not worth it even if you’re not paying for it. 

The Pew poll analyzed the survey through a political lens, and 50% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said it’s “not too important” or “not at all” important to have a four-year degree in order to get a well-paying job — versus 30% of Democrats. 

Some data cited by Pew may bear out the former group: Those without a college degree have seen wages rise in the past 10 years. 

That said, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported those 25 years of age and older who have college degrees have a median income of around $1,400 per week, versus the median $853 a week made by those with only a high school degree. 

Survey questions, methodology and results have not been verified or endorsed by ABC News or The Walt Disney Company.