Education Higher Ed
December 8th, 2023 Podcast by Manhattan Insights

Questioning College: Is Higher Ed Worth It? | Preston Cooper & Mene Ukueberuwa

Two decades ago, a four-year college degree was widely regarded as the key to boosting incomes. However, recent years have witnessed a paradigm shift in conventional wisdom about the value of a college education. Over half say college isn’t worth the cost, compared with 40% a decade ago. Are the skeptics right? What’s the average return? Who is it working for, and who isn’t it?

Two prominent perspectives on the value of a college education appear to be in stark contrast, making it challenging to reconcile them. On one hand, there's the belief that opportunities for those without a college degree are dwindling, and the relative worth of obtaining a degree is on the rise. On the other hand, there's the concern that the U.S. workforce is now oversaturated with graduates burdened by debt and grappling with underemployment.

For expert insight, guest host Mene Ukueberuwa (Wall Street Journal editorial page writer) was joined by Preston Cooper, who researches the costs and benefits of higher education and how policy can improve students’ success beyond college graduation.

Preston Cooper is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

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Related reading:
Check out Preston's latest piece, "Should the government write off uncollectible student loans?"
Preston's author page at FREOPP