Did You Know? Student Loan “Pauses” Help Those Who Can Afford to Pay

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers implemented sweeping relief programs to offset the economic shock of lockdowns, layoffs, and shifts in consumer behavior. Among these actions was a provision for the blanket forbearance of student loan debt for 42.3 million borrowers. Despite the well-intentioned nature of such “payment freeze” policies, little was initially … Continue reading “Did You Know? Student Loan “Pauses” Help Those Who Can Afford to Pay”


Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System

While some nerdy people like me thought that college was fun, and so stayed in it for life, for most people it is a chore to be completed with the goal of higher income. College is a big investment—of time, of expenses such as tuition, and of wages unearned due to one’s being in school. … Continue reading “Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System”


The College Rankings Game: How Students and Parents Are Being Played

The college application season has long been notorious for the anxiety it instills in high school seniors, many of whom are seeking admission to schools they believe will determine their futures. This is why students and parents scrutinize the rankings that are released each year. They naïvely believe that these lists are gospel. What they … Continue reading “The College Rankings Game: How Students and Parents Are Being Played”


Reducing Student Cost and Enhancing the Value of College Education

Soon, high school graduates will be making monumental decisions that will determine their future quality of life. These decisions include whether to attend college; if so, where; and finally, what degree program to pursue. Research shows that while not guaranteeing career success, a college degree often affords students more control over their destiny and enables a … Continue reading “Reducing Student Cost and Enhancing the Value of College Education”


When Community College Is a Good Investment―And When It Isn’t

Community college is often seen as a cheaper alternative to traditional four-year undergraduate degree programs, providing students with a widely-accessible means to pursue a postsecondary education without being burdened by tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in student loan debt. But does that perception translate into reality―does community college always pay off? As is … Continue reading “When Community College Is a Good Investment―And When It Isn’t”


The Numbers Are in: Are Graduate Degree Programs Worth It?

Preston Cooper, a researcher at The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity studying the economics of higher education, recently published a wide-ranging analysis of almost 14,000 U.S. graduate degree programs. In his investigation―which used a similar methodology to a related study he conducted on the value of undergraduate degrees―Cooper calculated the return on investment (ROI) … Continue reading “The Numbers Are in: Are Graduate Degree Programs Worth It?”


Will Your College Degree be a Good Investment?

From the 1960s until quite recently, the conventional wisdom in America was that going to college and earning a degree was a very good investment. The time and money that a student puts into it would be repaid very handsomely over his or her lifetime. College debt was called “good debt.” No need to worry … Continue reading “Will Your College Degree be a Good Investment?”


Let the Buyer Beware!

“Almost all students cite getting a better job as a primary reason for attending college,” writes Preston Cooper in the opening paragraph of his new study, entitled Is College Worth It? A Comprehensive Return on Investment Analysis. He refers to an annual survey by UCLA that found that the percentage of incoming freshmen who state … Continue reading “Let the Buyer Beware!”


Why Free Community College Solves The Wrong Problem

House Democrats have released their draft plan to make free community college a reality across much of the country, at a price tag of over $100 billion. The obsession with a zero sticker price for community college is odd, given that community colleges are already one of the most affordable sectors of America’s higher-education system. … Continue reading “Why Free Community College Solves The Wrong Problem”


Jobs data cannot prove that college is a “good investment”

All that the favorable job statistics for college graduates tell us is that having a degree positions you better in the job market compared with people who do not have those credentials. Many employers who need workers for jobs that require only basic abilities and a decent attitude now screen out people who don’t have college degrees. Companies looking to hire for positions such as sales supervisor and rental car agent, for instance, often state that they’ll only consider applicants who’ve graduated from college. What they studied or how well they did is largely beside the point.