The Gallup-Purdue Index Report released today reveals that 77 percent of college alumni either “strongly agree” or “agree” that their college education was worth the cost, compared to only 10 percent that “strongly disagree” or “disagree” about the worth of their college education. Among public college alumni, the news is even better—80 percent either “strongly agree” or “agree” that their college education was worth the cost, compared to only 8 percent that “strongly disagree” or “disagree” about the value of their education. In an era of state budget cuts to public colleges and universities and a subsequent state-to-student cost shift, AASCU and its members remain committed to the core value proposition in public higher education.   

Unfortunately, some have chosen to cherry-pick the results of this survey and write misleading headlines about the value of a college education. At a time when the nation needs more college graduates to compete in the knowledge-based global economy, these context-free “college is not worth it” headlines feed into a false narrative that does irreparable harm to our efforts to reach low-income students and those from historically underrepresented communities. Despite these efforts, AASCU institutions will continue to share their success stories of providing high quality, affordable college opportunities to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. 


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.