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

Paying More for Less? A New Classification System to Prioritize Outcomes in Higher Education

Paying More for Less? A New Classification System to Prioritize Outcomes in Higher Education

This report from Third Way introduces a new classification system that measures ROI by comparing a college’s net tuition price to a student’s ability to repay their loan. This analysis can be used as a tool to develop better policies to protect students from high-price, low-quality institutions.

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research

The latest installment of Strada Center for Education Insights' Public Viewpoint found that among survey respondents without degrees, skepticism about the value of a college degree increased from Spring 2020 to Fall 2020. The survey also found that students at community colleges were more likely than students at 4-year institutions to agree that their education would be worth the cost.

One Semester Later: How Prospective and Current College Students’ Perspectives of Higher Ed Have Changed between August and December 2020

One Semester Later: How Prospective and Current College Students’ Perspectives of Higher Ed Have Changed between August and December 2020

Third Way and New America released a memo discussing pandemic impacts on student perspectives and found that 80% are worried about finding a job after graduation.

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.