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

The Real Divide Over Higher Ed? Cost

The Real Divide Over Higher Ed? Cost

The annual Varying Degrees report from New America shows that liberals and conservatives generally agree that some kind of education beyond high school is valuable, but differ on who should pay for it.

How Student Debt and the Racial Wealth Gap Reinforce Each Other

How Student Debt and the Racial Wealth Gap Reinforce Each Other

A recent report co-released by The Century Foundation, Roosevelt Institute, and Demos examines research on racial disparities in the use of student debt and higher education outcomes. Black students rely more heavily on student debt and are far more likely to experience negative financial events after graduating. This means that while many Black families currently need to rely on debt to access college and the subsequent wage premium, the disproportionate burden of student debt perpetuates the racial wealth gap.

2019 College Rankings

2019 College Rankings

Washington Monthly recently released its annual college guide and rankings of four-year schools, including national universities, liberal arts colleges, baccalaureate colleges, and master’s universities based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research, and opportunities for public service. The rankings also include schools where students get the most for their money, affordable elite institutions, and the best colleges for adult learners.

Even Some College Tends to Pay Off

Even Some College Tends to Pay Off

New research found students who attended college but didn't earn a credential were more likely to hold a job and earned more than their peers who stopped at high school. These gains were generally bigger for low-income students, women and students of color.

Changes in Undergraduate Program Completers’ Borrowing Rates and Loan Amounts by Age: 1995–96 Through 2015–16

Changes in Undergraduate Program Completers’ Borrowing Rates and Loan Amounts by Age: 1995–96 Through 2015–16

This Data Point brief from the National Center for Education Statistics examines the percentage of undergraduate students who have ever borrowed for their postsecondary education and compares borrowing rates and loan amounts across five age groups from 1995–96 to 2015–16. The cumulative loan amount among undergraduate borrowers who expect to earn or have already earned a degree or certificate increased in all five age groups.

Born to Win, Schooled to Lose: Why Equally Talented Students Don’t Get Equal Chances to Be All They Can Be

Born to Win, Schooled to Lose: Why Equally Talented Students Don’t Get Equal Chances to Be All They Can Be

A report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce traces the K-12 pipeline and beyond, through college and careers, and finds that affluence matters more than talent when it comes to students’ success.

Views About Value

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.

It’s time we understood the value of college

It’s time we understood the value of college

The long-held belief that higher education is the key to social mobility in the U.S. is no longer enough, and society needs to a way to measure, understand, and talk about the value of higher education.

Manno: College Is More Than a Wage Premium — It’s a Road to Well-being and a Satisfying Life

Manno: College Is More Than a Wage Premium — It’s a Road to Well-being and a Satisfying Life

A college degree produces a wage premium as well as significant benefits for individuals, children, and society like a healthier lifestyle and higher rates of participation in civic life, including unpaid volunteering and voting.

OPINION: The dangerous message in telling low-income students to skip college

OPINION: The dangerous message in telling low-income students to skip college

Education after high school is becoming a necessity. Here’s a view on why that matters most for students who think – or have been told – college or training isn’t for them.

The Equity Problem With Saying 'College Isn't For Everyone'

The Equity Problem With Saying 'College Isn't For Everyone'

Despite claims from some that “college isn’t for everyone,” it literally still pays to go to college, especially for diverse population groups. And there are equity issues with the notion that higher education is only right for some.

Value Commission in the News

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.