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

Survey of Graduates on Value of Credentials

Survey of Graduates on Value of Credentials

A recent survey from Gallup and the Strada Education Network found that graduates of nondegree vocational programs are more likely to say their postsecondary credentials were worth the cost and made them an attractive job candidate than were graduates of terminal bachelor's degree programs.

Is college worth it? A Georgetown study measures return on investment — with some surprising results.

Is college worth it? A Georgetown study measures return on investment — with some surprising results.

Researchers at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce used newly released federal data to calculate return on investment for thousands of colleges across the country.

Annual and Cumulative Student Loan Debt Among Veterans Using and Not Using GI Bill Benefits

Annual and Cumulative Student Loan Debt Among Veterans Using and Not Using GI Bill Benefits

Veterans Education Success recently released a fact sheet that examines borrowing for undergraduate veterans who are receiving GI Bill benefits compared with those who are not. In 2015-16, 57 percent of GI Bill beneficiaries and 73 percent of nonbeneficiaries who earned bachelor’s degrees had borrowed. The largest sector-level disparity among student veterans was at for-profit institutions, where approximately one-third (32 percent) of beneficiaries borrowed compared with 59 percent of nonbeneficiaries.

Working While in College Might Hurt Students More Than it Helps

Working While in College Might Hurt Students More Than it Helps

In this article, Anthony P. Carnevale of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce discusses the potential negative impacts of working while enrolled in college, specifically for low-income students.

Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States

Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States

Gallup recently released findings from a survey of U.S. workers that measures job quality based on more than income and benefits, such as stable pay, job security, and sense of purpose. The study finds that just 40 percent of employed Americans are in good jobs. Those who started college but did not earn a degree were the least likely to report being in good jobs, whereas workers with doctorates were the most likely. The results also reveal that job quality is closely related to quality of life: 79 percent of workers in good jobs have an overall high quality of life, compared to 63 percent in mediocre jobs and only 32 percent in bad jobs.

Racial Inequality, at College and in the Workplace

Racial Inequality, at College and in the Workplace

White Americans still disproportionately outnumber their African American and Latino counterparts when it comes to obtaining good jobs, regardless of education levels.

Views About Value

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.

Can We Fix How We Judge and Pay for College?

Can We Fix How We Judge and Pay for College?

Jefferson Noël, a recent graduate of Florida International University, argues that students need access to more information about what colleges will do for them and how they will pay for it.

Do U.S. colleges reinforce or reduce inequality?

Do U.S. colleges reinforce or reduce inequality?

This Q&A with author Jennifer M. Morton discusses her new book about the costs of social mobility in higher education and her experience navigating college as a first-generation student.

Do U.S. colleges reinforce or reduce inequality?

Do U.S. colleges reinforce or reduce inequality?

A new book from Paul Tough considers whether higher education in America is more an engine of, or an obstacle to, economic and social mobility.

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.