The debate over whether or not college is worth it, due to the high levels of unemployment, will probably go on for a very long time. However, new research states getting a four-year degree does actually pay off.

According to Pew Research, there is a great difference in the earnings between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less, reports the Los Angeles Times. College graduates between the ages of 25 and 32 made about $17,500 more in 2012 than their peers who only had a high school diploma.

What's more, millennials with only a high school diploma only earn 61.5 percent of the annual income of college-educated millennials with a bachelor's degree.

This wasn't always the case, though. In the past, the gap in earnings between college graduates and high school graduates wasn't as great. Here's an example: for people born between 1965 and 1980, college-educated young adults only made about $15,780 more than high school graduates.

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