Business Is Higher Education Just About Money?

Karen Gross | Money Inc | June 29, 2017

If one were solely reading/hearing what appears in the news and in social media and on the US Department of Education website called College Scorecard, one would think that higher education was all about money. There are a plethora of articles about the costs of education and the difficulties students have in repaying their student loans. For students who do not complete their education, they end up in the unenviable position of having debt with no diploma – the worst of both worlds. Thinking through student borrowing and repayment has occupied center stage in debates about whether higher education is “worth it” or whether the price exceeds value. In business terms, folks are questioning the ROI on education.

Karen GrossThen, there are a myriad of discussions about whether students who do graduate from some post-secondary program (whether a technical program, an AA degree or a BA/BS degree) are finding suitable, career enhancing employment with a salary sufficient to enable them to both repay loans and start a productive life. To be sure, there are mismatches between graduates and employment opportunities. Add to that the reality that many employers harp on the fact that they do not believe students are prepared for the workplace of today and tomorrow. If one wants to see this emphasis on earnings, just look at the College Scorecard, the first page of which emphasizes which institutions produce graduates with the highest earnings.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that money speaks in American society and one way of measuring an individual’s success is by how much money that individual earns and then accumulates. Basically, the adage is: more is better. It is almost as if money will buy happiness and health and honor. But, we actually know better. There are many individuals who have come to understand, often through the school of hard knocks, that there are some things money cannot buy. It cannot buy health and it cannot buy real enduring love...