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

What's Next: It'll take more than a pandemic to end the U.S. News rankings

What's Next: It'll take more than a pandemic to end the U.S. News rankings

U.S. News & World Report recently published its annual Best Colleges rankings, but experts say the publication will need to adjust its methodology to account for pandemic impacts, and some critics believe the rankings should be abandoned altogether.

Policy Brief: Advancing Racial Equity in Illinois Higher Education

Policy Brief: Advancing Racial Equity in Illinois Higher Education

This report from Women Employed highlighting the need to address racial equity within the higher education system in Illinois found there is a completion gap between Black and Latinx students compared to white students at all higher education institutions in the state.

 A 2017 Follow-up: Six-Year Persistence and Attainment at Any Institution for 2011–12 First-time Postsecondary Students

A 2017 Follow-up: Six-Year Persistence and Attainment at Any Institution for 2011–12 First-time Postsecondary Students

This NCES study, the third in a series of four, examines the six-year retention and attainment rates of first-time students who first enrolled in college in 2011-12. It found that less than 25 percent of first-time college students in 2011 who were Black and Hispanic earned a bachelor's degree by 2017, compared to 55 percent of Asian students and 43 percent of white students.

New Federal Survey Data Show the Pandemic Has Hit Would-Be College Students Hard

New Federal Survey Data Show the Pandemic Has Hit Would-Be College Students Hard

Data on postsecondary education plans during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that 29 percent of households in which at least one adult planned to enroll in education after high school this fall instead cancelled their educational plans, and of these households, 35 percent had an income of $25,000 or less.

Student Debt Forgiveness Options: Implications for Policy and Racial Equity

Student Debt Forgiveness Options: Implications for Policy and Racial Equity

A working paper from the Roosevelt Institute models the impact of debt forgiveness at multiple levels of cutoffs on borrowers’ loan obligations and for the racial wealth gap. The analysis finds that $40,000 in student debt forgiveness would eliminate student loan debt for three quarters of Black and white borrowers.

State Investment in Higher Education: Effects on Human Capital Formation, Student Debt, and Long-Term Financial Outcomes of Students

State Investment in Higher Education: Effects on Human Capital Formation, Student Debt, and Long-Term Financial Outcomes of Students

This paper, which analyzes the relationship between state appropriations for higher education and student outcomes, suggests that state support for higher education, particularly at community colleges, can be an important factor in student debt outcomes.

Views About Value

College students raising kids were in crisis before coronavirus. Lockdown made it worse.

College students raising kids were in crisis before coronavirus. Lockdown made it worse.

This article from NBC News discusses the challenges that student parents face and how institutions can better support these students in attaining their degrees.

The pay-off for a prestigious college degree is smaller than you think

The pay-off for a prestigious college degree is smaller than you think

Based on data from National Center for Education Statistics, the authors argue that degrees from elite institutions may not provide as high an earnings premium as expected, and that college completion may be a more important factor.

Go Figure: Exploring Equity in Students’ Postsecondary Math Pathway Choices

Go Figure: Exploring Equity in Students’ Postsecondary Math Pathway Choices

This report from Just Equations examines student experiences within California community colleges and the California State University in navigating new math pathway strategies (e.g., corequisite courses, multiple measures for placement, and diversified math pathways) to understand their effectiveness in improving equity in math education outcomes.

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.

Value Commission in the News

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.