The Cost and Value of Higher Education

On this week’s episode of College for Christians, Sam and I tackled two of the most pressing questions in higher education: why does college cost so much, and is it worth it?

Especially in response to the first question, we were again trying to demystify higher education, where confusion adds to stress. We talked through terminology (“sticker vs. net price”; “discount rate”; “tuition reset”) and tried to explain what’s been driving up the cost of college the last 10-20 years — and what it may mean for students when a college tries to “control costs.”

Licensed by Creative Commons (Fars Media)

Then the related question of value… we did point to resources like College Scorecard, O*Net, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, and Payscale. (And I explained why you shouldn’t judge a college’s value by U.S. News rankings — or, if you need that kind of evaluation, look to an alternative like Washington Monthly.) But as always, Sam and I kept calling listeners back to their reasons for wanting to go to college — which may not be captured by attempts to quantify higher ed’s “return on investment” based purely on salary or earnings, especially if you’re primarily concerned with spiritual growth and want to distinguish career from calling.

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