President Barack Obama greets graduating students before the Booker T. Washington High School graduation ceremony May 16, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee. Obama thinks college is valuable -- he wants the United States to become the best-educated nation by 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
If you’re poking around here at EducationOption.com, you’re presumably given some thought to the question, “Is College Worth It?” That's the name of the report just released by the Pew Research Center. They asked 2,412 adults 18 and older, and got some interesting answers.
Pew found that 57 percent of Americans — more than half — do not think that higher education in the United States is a good return on investment. Its high cost is definitely one factor: 75 percent of the respondents think college is too expensive for most people.
Not everyone is so negative, but only 40 percent say college is an excellent (5 percent) or good (35 percent) investment in general. Despite that, more than twice as many — 86 percent — think it was a good investment for them, personally. And 94 percent of parents with at least one child under the age of 18 expect their children to attend college.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these different numbers. Since everyone, and not just college graduates, was asked if the experience is generally beneficial, it makes sense that a fair number of them don’t think it is. If you didn't go to college, one reason might be that you don't think it's a good investment.
But the group that was asked if they’d send their own kids to college also includes a lot of non-graduates, presumably — and look how high that number is!
I’m going to be writing more on this report in particular, and on the topic in general. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Do you consider college valuable? The comments box on this page is really tiny, but there’s plenty more room on our Facebook page. I set up three different surveys: one each for people who have graduated from college, for people who haven’t yet graduated but plan to, and for people who haven’t and don’t intend to.
Please swing by there and answer the survey that goes with your situation. Remember, you can check more than one box. If you’d like to add a few words in the comments section as well, that would be great! Oh, and please consider “liking” us, so you can get regular updates on new content.
Content Manager, EducationOption.com
You can read more about the Pew survey here.