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

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.

Labor Market Trajectories for Community College Graduates: How Returns to Certificates and Associate's degrees Evolve Over Time

Labor Market Trajectories for Community College Graduates: How Returns to Certificates and Associate's degrees Evolve Over Time

This paper from Education Finance and Policy analyzes labor market returns to terminal associate's degrees and certificates found that earning an associate's degree leads to improved outcomes relative to non-completion across a range of metrics, including higher paying jobs, more stability in employment over time, and a greater likelihood of earning a living wage.

 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.

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Survey

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Survey

The newest edition of Strada Education Network’s COVID-19 Work and Education Survey explores Americans’ views on educational value. The findings revealed that 56 percent of students believe that education this fall will provide less value than last year, compared with just 12 percent who believe it will provide more value.

What’s the Likely Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Ed?

What’s the Likely Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Ed?

Inside Higher Ed looked at the impact of COVID-19 on postsecondary education by analyzing data from the Understanding America Survey. What they found was an increase in family responsibilities, desire to be close to home, and uncertainty around employment that disproportionately affected students based on race, class, and institution type.

The Road To Affordability: Reducing Cost and Maximizing Value

The Road To Affordability: Reducing Cost and Maximizing Value

A Colorado Department of Higher Education report found that while Colorado’s higher education system brings significant value to most students and to the state, there are persistent gaps by gender and race/ethnicity in postgraduate wages.

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.