The value of a college education

Shortly after reading new information from Jenna Ashley Robinson about the declining value of a bachelor’s degree, I spotted a blurb in Money magazine titled “Elite Schools Are Overrated.” It covers a related theme.

Princeton economics professor Alan B. Krueger offers the following information:

There is far too much pressure on high school students to go to the most elite schools. My colleague Stacy Dale and I tracked more than 26,000 students who were freshmen at a group of about two dozen colleges, which included schools such as Penn State and Yale. Over the course of their careers, the students who chose not to attend the most selective school to which they were admitted earned about as much as those with similar grades and test scores who went to the highest-ranked college they got into.

The exception were students who had low incomes or were minorities, possibly because the more selective school provided access to networks that were otherwise not available to them.

My advice is if you have a child applying to college, ignore the various rankings. No one school is automatically better for all kinds of students.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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