College & Workforce Readiness

Survey: Young Alumni Report College Degrees Are Worth It

By Caralee J. Adams — December 13, 2010 1 min read
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Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it costs a lot of money. But, getting a college degree was worth it, according to 89 percent of young alumni polled in a survey released today.

Recent college graduates ages 25-39 were asked about their undergraduate experience in a national survey early this year conducted by the Winston Group on behalf of the American Council on Education.

When it comes to their individual schools, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said they would attend the same institution &mdash with alumni slightly more likely to say this if they attended a four-year institution than a two-year one.

Interestingly, while 81 percent of the young alumni felt that their college prepared them for the workforce, just 62 percent think higher education in general is preparing students for the demands of the modern workforce.

So, what is the most important role of colleges and universities in the 21st century? Top answer: Teaching students how to think critically (31 percent). Next: Preparing students for employment (28 percent). Preparing students to solve problems that face the country ranked most important with 17 percent of the alumni.

When asked about the cost of higher education, 76 percent of alumni report that their institution charged a fair price for their education. Graduates of private institutions were more concerned about price, but still overwhelmingly reported that the investment was worth it.

Despite the push for more public support for institutions, alumni in the poll said students and families should be the ones primarily responsible for funding higher education (40 percent), followed by the federal government (30 percent) and state government (20 percent).

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.