Home News Is College Worth It? Decoding New Approaches to Calculating ROI – Ed Surge

Is College Worth It? Decoding New Approaches to Calculating ROI – Ed Surge


More than ever, students and their parents are asking whether college is worth it. Most recently, The Wall Street Journal called it “the albatross around their necks,” referring to graduates saddled with debt.

According to The Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) at Georgetown University, bachelor’s degree holders earn 84 percent more than those with just a high school diploma. Yet at the same time, as the Journal pointed out, “millennials are the most educated generation in the nation’s history, but they are broke compared with their predecessors.”

Statistics like the aforementioned are compelling. But doesn’t answer the question people are really asking: Is this college worth it for me? Moreover, how should the return on investment (ROI) be calculated?

A Biden administration is likely to reinstate some form of gainful-employment rule, which was based on the idea that typical graduates of career-training programs need to earn enough to afford to repay their loans. The rule, enacted by Obama and cancelled by Trump, required any program where typical graduates’ debts exceed both 8 percent of their total income and 20 percent of discretionary income to improve—or else lose access to federal financial aid.

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