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

Veterans Without Degrees: The Benefits and Opportunities of Certificates and Certifications

Veterans Without Degrees: The Benefits and Opportunities of Certificates and Certifications

Strada Education Network partnered with Gallup and the Lumina Foundation to examine how U.S. veterans without college degrees feel about higher education and the benefits they can receive from non-degree forms of education. The report finds that among all U.S. adults without degrees, veterans are much more likely to have certificates and certifications than non-veterans.

The Third Wave: Overcoming Elitist College Rankings

The Third Wave: Overcoming Elitist College Rankings

In a recent interview with The EvoLLLution, Paul Glastris discusses college rankings and their implications for higher education equity and policy. Typical college rankings, like those released by U.S. News & World Report, can incentivize colleges to become more exclusive in order to rise in the rankings, leading to a more expensive education that caters less to low-income students.

Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

This report from the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions examines the intergenerational income mobility of students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), especially compared with those who attend Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). The findings reveal that more than half of students at HBCUs experience some measure of upward mobility.

Student Debt Reinforces the Racial Wealth Gap, Study Finds

Student Debt Reinforces the Racial Wealth Gap, Study Finds

A new study from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University found that 20 years after entering repayment, the median white student borrower had paid back 94 percent of their student debt while the media black borrower still owed 95 percent. The study notes that black borrowers experience more discrimination in labor markets and are more likely to support older relatives.

Student Debt and the Class of 2018

Student Debt and the Class of 2018

The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) recently released its annual study on the student loan debt of recent college graduates, documenting changes and variation in student loan debt across states and institutions. The study finds that roughly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of 2018 bachelor's degree recipients from public and private nonprofit colleges had taken out student loans.

2018-2019 Student Expenses and Resources Survey: An Initial Look at the Obstacles Students Face Affording Higher Education

2018-2019 Student Expenses and Resources Survey: An Initial Look at the Obstacles Students Face Affording Higher Education

A new report from the California Student Aid Commission surveyed California college students about their experiences and perceptions of college affordability. The data show variances in expenses for college costs by race/ethnicity, age, and region—Black and Hispanic students had the greatest difficulty affording college expenses and experienced higher food and housing insecurity while older students and those with dependents also faced greater obstacles to affordability.

Views About Value

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.

Taking Out a Student Loan Is Better Than Dropping Out

Taking Out a Student Loan Is Better Than Dropping Out

New research on the effects of student loans at community colleges found that simply cutting loans without replacing those lost dollars with grants or lower tuition hinders students’ academic progress.

Value Commission in the News

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.

Does Higher Ed Really Pay Off? New Gates-Funded Commission Aims to Find Out

Does Higher Ed Really Pay Off? New Gates-Funded Commission Aims to Find Out

The Postsecondary Value Commission intends to create a way of defining and measuring the return on investment that postsecondary education or training delivers.