Home > Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > College’s Value Goes Deeper Than the Degree, Graduates Say

College’s Value Goes Deeper Than the Degree, Graduates Say

By Eric Hoover

Scholastic skepticism is contagious. Pundits and parents alike continue to second-guess the value of a college degree. After all, the recession has changed the way many Americans look at big-ticket purchases; plenty of families worry that today’s expenses will not pay off tomorrow.

Not surprisingly, today’s cost-conscious public views college price tags with a wary eye. According to the Pew Research Center survey of the American public, only 35 percent said colleges were doing a “good” job in terms of providing value to students and parents; 42 percent said “only fair,” and 15 percent said “poor.”

A curious thing happened when college graduates were asked about the value of their own degrees, however. In the Pew survey, 84 percent of those with degrees said college had been a good investment; only 7 percent said it had not.

Why? Perhaps it’s because assessing the value of a college education is not a hard-and-fast calculation. Sure, diplomas help Americans land better jobs and earn higher salaries, and one can estimate the financial return on those investments. Yet the perceived benefits of attending college go well beyond dollars.

Continued at: http://chronicle.com/article/Its-More-Than-Just-the/127534/

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