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

Judging a Degree by the Program, Not the College

Judging a Degree by the Program, Not the College

Using data from the latest College Scorecard, new studies from Third Way and Texas Public Policy Foundation examine which degree programs at which institutions offer graduates the best chance of recouping their costs and repaying their loans.

An Accreditor Goes Deeper on Data

An Accreditor Goes Deeper on Data

Accrediting agency WSCUC's new database better enables public evaluation of the colleges it monitors by tapping into wide swaths of federal data.

Will That College Degree Pay Off?

Will That College Degree Pay Off?

A new report from Third Way analyzing data from the federal Education Department’s College Scorecard tool found that most four-year college degrees pay off by paving the way for graduates to recoup the cost of their education relatively quickly.

College was supposed to close the wealth gap for Black Americans. The opposite happened.

College was supposed to close the wealth gap for Black Americans. The opposite happened.

A new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Wall Street Journal found the median net worth of households with Black college graduates in their 30s has plunged over the past three decades to less than one-tenth the net worth of their white counterparts.

Views About Value

Decreasing Structural Racism in Higher Education

Decreasing Structural Racism in Higher Education

Alexandra W. Logue of the Center for Advanced Study in Education of the City University of New York Graduate Center argues that to reduce structural racism in higher education, we must reconsider remediation and the lack of credit transfer from associate to bachelor’s degree programs.

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.

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.