The value of higher education is being viewed more skeptically right now than at any point in my lifetime. And for good reason. The disappointing reality is that too many students fail to get enough value out of their college education. In 2011, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa published Academically Adrift, which documented that about 45% of college students don’t improve their critical thinking or writing skills in college. ¹Other scholars’ findings “closely parallel those of Arum and Roksa.”²
Moreover, during the past few decades, costs have exploded while the benefits have not. Rising costs and stagnant benefits have naturally led more students, parents, and policymakers to ask whether college was worth it. For too many, the answer is no. But there is hope. Policy reforms could increase the value of higher education by reducing costs and holding colleges accountable.