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# Opportunities' Costs

## Is higher education a good investment?

Is higher education a good investment? One of the biggest questions students face is how much education to get. While bachelors and graduate degrees may lead to higher earnings, they can also be expensive and take years to earn.

In this lesson, students write and solve systems of linear equations to determine how long it would take to pay off various degrees and discuss the pros and cons of different educational paths.

### REAL WORLD TAKEAWAYS

• Professions have different upfront costs (both time and money) for education, and they have different median salaries after that education is attained.
• Some professions with high median salaries require lots of time and money for education in the short run.
• Whether someone “should” get more education depends on what’s important to them – e.g. netting more money, doing particular type of work, having a particular status – and how long they expect to work.

### MATH OBJECTIVES

• Write linear equations to model real-world scenarios.
• Solve systems of equations graphically, algebraically, and/or by reasoning with tables.

This complex task is best as a culminating unit activity after students have developed formal knowledge and conceptual understanding.