It seems clear that college graduates, given a few months space after graduation, have much lower unemployment rates than high school graduates. [Yes, Even Young College Graduates Have Low Unemployment].
But their job acquisition is not necessarily reflective of their college education. That is, they are getting the jobs that would have ordinarily been occupied by high school graduates. [College Degree Required by Increasing Number of Companies].
Because the job market favors the employers, college education becomes an unrelated job requisite filtering out those, albeit with less education, that are more of a match to the actual job requirements.
"This up-credentialing is pushing the less educated even further down the food chain, and it helps explain why the unemployment rate for workers with no more than a high school diploma is more than twice that for workers with a bachelor’s degree: 8.1 percent versus 3.7 percent." [College Degree Required by Increasing Number of Companies].
And that is the reason to go to college? To obtain a job that pays a little more than the recently suggested federal minimum wage of $9? For many, there is no ROI on the dollars and time spent.
College is a worth while experience even if irrelevant to a career. But from a financial viewpoint it isn't worth it unless the obtained employment pays off that dollar investment over a reasonable time.
Graduating from a four year college with a job that pays something around $10 per hour cannot be defined as a reasonable return on the dollars invested.