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November 21 2019

What's Your College Degree Worth?

by Charlotte Hays

What’s my college degree worth?

It might be a good idea to think through this question before going into debt to get that sheepskin.

Well, now Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a relaunched website to help people decide what are the likely financial gains of a particular major or college before going into debt.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

The website is CollegeScorecard.ed.gov, and it’s been around for a while. But until recently students could only look up the earnings and debt for colleges and universities as a whole. Given the large difference between what an English major and an electrical engineer can expect to make, this has been a crude and often unhelpful measure.

The good news is that the site now offers a much fuller picture that gives students more ways to compare. A student choosing her field of study at, say, Iowa State might want to know that while a civil engineering major can look forward to earning $60,700 in the first year after graduation, the salary drops to $30,600 for history.

Or compare the median monthly earnings and monthly loan payments for, say, computer science at Duke ($8,300/$82), at Rutgers ($5,858/$221) and at Florida State ($4,233/$231). They can do the same for the debt students compile before they graduate.

I hate it that we are losing sight of the value of a liberal education. We often treat college as only a route to a job.

Still, future earnings always have been (and should be) a part of the college decision.

Too bad grads who find themselves burdened on the brink of adult life by life-altering debt didn’t have a resource like this.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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