College graduates, no matter now unemployed or in debt, totally think college was worth it. This may have a lot to do with how researchers asked the questions. The American Council on Education released the results of its recent survey Monday. According to the press release:
The more than 2.4 million students who receive an undergraduate degree in the United States each year have college experiences that are individual and diverse, but the students are nearly unanimous in their opinion of the value of their degree. Polling conducted by The Winston Group on behalf of the American Council on Education (ACE) indicates that 89 percent of young alumni found their education worth the time and money spent.
“Young alumni” is an interesting way to put it. Allie Grasgreen at Inside Higher Ed points out that the survey was actually “heavily weighted toward older graduates.” People between 35 and 40 constituted 52 percent of those surveyed. The other people questioned were between 25 and 34.
There were no recent college graduates—you know, the people working unpaid internships and struggling to make payments on five-figure student loans—reflected in the ACE examination at all.
It also might have been more useful if The Winston Group had also asked questions of all 18 million people enrolled in college each year, rather than just those who successfully completed programs, but whatever.