Monday, October 20, 2014

Higher Education and the Public Good

Huffington Post
October 20th, 2014

The benefits that higher education bestows on individuals are well-known. In some circles, these personal benefits are as easily recited as the Pledge of Allegiance: College graduates are more likely to be employed and will earn more money over their lifetimes than those who do not have college education; college graduates are more likely to have retirement benefits; college graduates enjoy better health; college graduates are more likely to say that they are happy with the decisions they have made for themselves.
Those of us who work in public higher education, particularly state colleges and universities, know that this list is woefully incomplete. This list of personal benefits represents the sales pitch of the admissions office. These are the ideas we push when we are trying to encourage applicants and their families to make the sacrifices that justify a personal investment in higher education. In truth, the reasons that nations invest in higher education is that education advances a larger public good.

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