News and Views

News and Views

Concerns about the cost of college—and the debt students are taking on to finance their education—are pushing questions of value into the public spotlight. Explore recent headlines and various perspectives on the issue.

Value in the Headlines

Is it time to rethink the value of college?

Is it time to rethink the value of college?

Kevin Carey, higher education reporter for the New York Times, speaks with Vox about the pandemic’s impacts on students and institutions and why students must consider value as they make college decisions.

Compilation on the Value of Higher Education

Compilation on the Value of Higher Education

After two years of working to identify what college is worth, The Postsecondary Value Commission has released a report and action agenda with the goal to transform our higher education system to be more equitable and accessible to students of all backgrounds. Download the report here.

Redefining ‘Value’ in Higher Education

Redefining ‘Value’ in Higher Education

The Postsecondary Value Commission released a report calling for a new definition of value and for clear ways for students to identify it, with an emphasis on promoting economic mobility for all.

What's a college degree worth? New report pushes for more transparency to close disparities

What's a college degree worth? New report pushes for more transparency to close disparities

USA Today covers a new report from the Postsecondary Value Commission that aims to measure both the individual and societal value of an education by combining federal data from the College Scorecard with demographic information from participating universities.

Views About Value

Higher Education: Equalizer or Engine of Inequality?

Higher Education: Equalizer or Engine of Inequality?

Steven Mintz, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, provides recommendations so that higher education can be a tool to diminish economic disparities instead of magnifying inequalities. This includes studying labor markets, strengthening project-based curriculum, and identifying the needs of students who have previously been poorly served.

An Investment That Would Pay Off for Society

An Investment That Would Pay Off for Society

Commission member Anthony Carnevale and Kathryn Peltier Campbell discuss a new report from their organization, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, finding that the lack of racial and economic justice in higher education in the United States costs the country nearly $956 billion per year in unrealized public monetary gain.

Judging Colleges by Students’ Career Outcomes

Judging Colleges by Students’ Career Outcomes

One way of judging colleges’ performance is by looking at the time it takes for their students to recoup their investment through subsequent earnings. Michael Itzkowitz of Third Way and Michelle Van Noy of Rutgers University recently shared their research and perspectives on this in The Key, a new podcast.

Maximizing the Value of a College Education

Maximizing the Value of a College Education

University of Texas professor and Inside Higher Ed columnist Steven Mintz draws from two analyses of the student experience to recommend changes that colleges and universities can make to create stronger, more holistic, and more valuable curricula.

Value Commission in the News

Statement on Report of the Postsecondary Value Commission

Statement on Report of the Postsecondary Value Commission

In a statement WSCUC shares its support for the Postsecondary Value Commission’s contributions to the conversation about value in higher education, for both the individual and the public, noting its focus on data and equity.

As the pandemic upends higher education, is residential college worth the cost?

As the pandemic upends higher education, is residential college worth the cost?

As the pandemic upends the traditional model of higher education, particularly for residential colleges, some students and parents are questioning whether the cost is worth it. Postsecondary Value Commission Managing Director Michelle Asha Cooper and other higher education leaders weigh in on new efforts to rethink the value, and the cost, of traditional college in the coronavirus era.

Many Young People Think a High School Diploma Is Enough, Poll Finds

Many Young People Think a High School Diploma Is Enough, Poll Finds

Two recent polls found that young Americans don’t see a college degree as critical to career success and nearly half of young people ages 13 to 29 surveyed said a high school diploma alone is sufficient. Postsecondary Value Commission Managing Director Michelle Asha Cooper notes that with increasing concerns about affordability and student debt, the commission aims to define how various kinds of postsecondary education pay off to help students and families evaluate their choices

What is the value of a college education? Gates Foundation group meets at Cal State Fullerton to form an answer

What is the value of a college education? Gates Foundation group meets at Cal State Fullerton to form an answer

The Postsecondary Value Commission held its second of four meetings at California State University, Fullerton, where the commission heard from local students, alumni and employers. CSUF, where commission member Mildred Garcia previously served as president, has seen important gains in the past decade including rising graduation rates and shrinking achievement and opportunity gaps for transfer students. Note: This story may require a subscription to view.

Is College Worth the Cost?

Is College Worth the Cost?

For most students, a bachelor’s degree is a wise financial investment, but weighing the costs against the expected labor market outcomes is a worthwhile exercise. Postsecondary Value Commission members Anthony Carnevale and Luis Talavera share their insights and a good resource for prospective college students in this article.

Five myths about student debt

Five myths about student debt

Some of the most common misconceptions about debt include the idea that students can pay their way through college by working and that a college degree isn’t worth the debt.