In The News

In The News

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

College for people like me: How majority-Black campuses boost social mobility

College for people like me: How majority-Black campuses boost social mobility

A recent paper by the Brookings Institution found Majority-Black Colleges (MBCs) had a higher success rate of moving low-income students into higher income brackets compared to Majority-White Colleges (MWCs).

The Labor Market for Recent College Graduates

The Labor Market for Recent College Graduates

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released new labor market data for recent college graduates that compares earnings to those with a only a high school diploma and looks at rates of the unemployed and underemployed. It also analyzes outcomes of graduates by their major.

College Major Related to Gender Wage Gap

College Major Related to Gender Wage Gap

University of Chicago and the University of California recently released a working paper that compared undergraduate majors with labor market outcomes, and found that major choice is predictive of gender wage gaps.

The ‘Missing Middle’ at Ivy-Plus Colleges

The ‘Missing Middle’ at Ivy-Plus Colleges

A new report from Opportunity Insights comparing attendance at selective universities found that students with similar test scores but differing incomes attended these elite universities at different rates. They also found that middle-class students were the most underrepresented at these schools, dubbing this group the “missing middle.”

The First College Rankings Based On Grads’ Salary By Major Field

The First College Rankings Based On Grads’ Salary By Major Field

Optimal launched the first college ranking system that compares median salaries and college debt by major. It found STEM fields led in earnings and showed humanities and social science majors with the lowest incomes.

Is It Fair to Judge a College by Its ROI?

Is It Fair to Judge a College by Its ROI?

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently analyzed 210 liberal-arts colleges across the country to evaluate students ROI after 40 years. However, this survey also revealed the inequalities caused by other factors that skew the data, including race, class, and geographic location. (Subscription is required to read full text.)

Views About Value

Ignore the Hype. College Is Worth It

Ignore the Hype. College Is Worth It

Postsecondary Value Commission member Anthony P. Carnevale writes that while changes to the way higher education institutions operate may be necessary, the value of a college degree in the workplace is without question and is supported by recent research.

Taxpayers Fund College Degrees That Don’t Pay Off

Taxpayers Fund College Degrees That Don’t Pay Off

The Texas Public Policy Foundation created a tool to determine if colleges and programs have justified earnings in comparison to student debt. This tool found that just 73% of students at public colleges are enrolled in programs that pass this test.

The odds are still stacked against low-income college students; here are some ways to expand the possibilities

The odds are still stacked against low-income college students; here are some ways to expand the possibilities

In addition to support overcoming skills gaps and gaining access to internships and mentors, Aimee Eubanks-Davis argues that publicly available data on employment status and earnings by school and course of study could help more low-income students succeed in college.

Comparing The College Scorecard And PayScale’s College Salary Report: Four Key Differences

Comparing The College Scorecard And PayScale’s College Salary Report: Four Key Differences

Key differences in the methodologies behind two alumni earnings databases used to compare earning of students who attended one college versus another – the Department of Education’s College Scorecard and PayScale’s College Salary Report – lead to significant variance in earning estimates.

STUDENT VOICE: How I learned to count college value over perceived status

STUDENT VOICE: How I learned to count college value over perceived status

A first-generation college student reflects on how she learned the importance of putting college value ahead of prestige and came to see community colleges as engines of social mobility.

OPINION: Out of necessity, I taught my son to choose a college for its value, not its prestige or vibe

OPINION: Out of necessity, I taught my son to choose a college for its value, not its prestige or vibe

As a former teacher, academic and policy analyst, Laura McKenna wanted her son to understand the financial realities of college and the importance of picking a school based on the value it provides.

Value Commission in the News

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.

Everyone Wants to Measure the Value of College. Now the Gates Foundation Wants a Say.

Everyone Wants to Measure the Value of College. Now the Gates Foundation Wants a Say.

The Postsecondary Value Commission launched with a goal to provide useful information to help colleges understand how and how well they are contributing to economic opportunity for students, aid policy makers in gauging returns on investment in higher education, and equip students and families to make decisions about higher education.

Gates Foundation Asks: Is College Worth It?

Gates Foundation Asks: Is College Worth It?

The three-pronged goal of the Postsecondary Value Commission is to develop a definition of the value of college, create a way to measure how individual colleges and universities create value for students and create a set of recommendations for policymakers, politicians, and higher education officials.