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Does a college education have value? Only 60% of Americans say yes


Adobe Stock Who believes a college education is worth the cost? Not all Americans.

In a policy brief released on Monday, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Bipartisan Policy Center noted that while most employers agree post-secondary paths have value, the public is squarely divided across socioeconomic and political lines.

Only 60% of the 2,200 adults polled in early March said higher education possesses the best track to future success. By contrast, nearly 90% of the 496 business leaders surveyed said credentials and degrees are essential.

“Obtaining a college degree is still the single most effective means for achieving economic mobility in the United States,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “But this report demonstrates that we have work to do in messaging how a college credential leads to career success, particularly for vulnerable populations of students who might already think a college education is out of reach. The road ahead demands that we build the most diverse and inclusive workforce possible.”

Getting there has been a challenge. The costs of an education—skyrocketing tuition, fees and housing expenses along with soaring debt over the past two decades—have prompted many to question why entering the workforce via other paths might not […]

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