On the value of college, higher ed has a ‘great choir’ of supporters—but many people can’t hear the music

There are many reasons why only half of American adults have an education credential beyond high school, and we’re starting to see one of the biggest: Communication.

Too often, we simply talk past each other. Take these points, for example:

  • A bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million, on average, over a lifetime.
  • Someone with a bachelor’s degree will earn 84 percent more than a person with just a high school diploma.

Understandably, there is some doubt today about the value of higher education—that is, its benefits compared to its cost. All of this helps explain why, even though the percentage of people with post-high school credentials has grown substantially, it’s still only at 54 percent of Americans.

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