President Joe Biden proposed a ruling last Wednesday to clamp down on schools that saddle students with insurmountable debt and poor returns on a college education. The proposal examines all academic offerings at for-profit colleges and non-degree credentials at traditional universities, threatening to cut federal funding for those that cannot guarantee that at least half its graduate cohort earn more than working adults with only a high school diploma. While Biden’s proposal excludes degree credentials at non-profit institutions, college leaders may want to be wary about bachelor’s programs that foretell no significant future earning power.
Utilizing data from the Department of Education and compiled by The HEA Group and College Scorecard, four years after graduating with one of these 25 bachelor’s degree programs students earn less than $38,000 on average, or just about what an employee with a high school diploma makes, according to Indeed. Almost 900 non-profit institutions offer one of these bachelor’s degrees.*
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All in all, 867 institutions offer such bachelor’s degree programs.* Programs in drama and stagecraft, the fine arts and music were the most prevalent degrees in this category. Seven of the 25 degrees on the list are related to theological study, accounting for 62 institutions in total.
* Note: Some institutions offer more than one of these academic programs listed. For example, Adelphi University offers “Fine and Studio Arts,” “Drama/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft” and “Dance.” This overlap reduces the number of non-profit institutions offering such bachelor’s programs.