June 2, 2014
I am inclined to forward to you all a post from the blog called “The UpShot” on the NY Times website. Over the last couple of years, it feels as if the college degree is attacked on a weekly basis in the media. Quite frankly, I find myself pondering the return on investment for society and individuals. I know having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree has been great for me and my career, but everyone’s circumstances are different. There are so many problems in higher education from the high cost to bloated infrastructures to slowness to respond to market forces. We live it every day! And yet, the value of attaining a bachelor’s degree still makes sense in almost every circumstance; however, it does not guarantee success. I think this latter point is key. Here are some interesting takeaways from blog post:
- The decision not to attend college for fear that it’s a bad deal is among the most economically irrational decisions anybody could make in 2014.
- Public discussion today often focuses on the undeniable fact that a bachelor’s degree does not guarantee success. But of course it doesn’t.
- Over the long run, college is cheaper than free. Not going to college will cost you about half a million dollars.
- The big economic returns go to people with four-year degrees.
- The unemployment rate in April for people between 25 and 34 years old with a bachelor’s degree was a mere 3 percent.
- From almost any individual’s perspective, college is a no-brainer. It’s the most reliable ticket to the middle class and beyond.
Although I think our higher education system is broken in many ways, I remain a believer that for almost all people, attaining a bachelor’s degree and in some cases a master’s degree is a great investment. The key is making sure individuals choose a high quality program and university at a price point that makes sense for them. The motivating factor for us is that we can help make this connection between education consumers and education providers successful.
For the counterpoint delivered by NPR, read this blog post, but I generally agree with their conclusion that college isn’t worth it when: (1) if…you don’t graduate, (2) if…you pick the wrong college, and (3) if… you pick the wrong degree. TLH plays a key part in helping the education consumer solve all three issues.