While higher education enrollment continues to decline and the trend of high school graduates opting to join the job market instead increases, one report reveals that students who do decide on college aren’t regretting it.
After surveying over 2,000 students in March, Gallup has discovered that 71% nationwide agree that the degree they are receiving is worth the cost. Only 8% of currently enrolled students believed their degree’s value did not match it.
Private non-profit institutions had the most polarizing responses compared to public students. Private non-profit institutions had the highest percentage of students to both strongly agree (41%) and strongly disagree (4%) that their degree’s value matched its costs. This is partially due to public institution students being more on the fence about its value than taking an opinion.
The driving factor leading to public and private nonprofit institutions students’ high regard for their degree is their trust that it adequately prepares them for life after college. Three-quarters of all students agreed with this statement, with 38% percent strongly agreeing.
The top seven factors boosting students’ confidence in their degree:
- Preparation for life after college
- The ability to express oneself freely on campus
- Several states have begun implementing initiatives to boost constructive discourse in light of higher education’s increased political polarization.
- The extent to which students have the opportunity to interact with people with different views
- Perceptions of physical safety
- The extent to which professors care about students as people
- Perceptions of belonging
- Admissions selectivity of the institution according to IPEDS
- Despite this being a solid factor in students’ valuation of a degree, the Gallup report noted that U.S. News’ college ranking was not essential to them.