With parasitic for-profit colleges, money-grubbing colleges, and the evil overlord that is Sallie Mae clouding the College Experience—not to mention the $1.3 trillion student loan debt—it’s not hard to imagine that a few customers alumni are less than satisfied with college. Approximately 30,000 graduates of four-year colleges in the U.S. were surveyed for the second annual poll from the Gallup Organization in conjunction with Purdue University, in order to find out how college affected a person’s happiness in life and work years down the road.
The poll showed that half of all alumni surveyed “strongly agreed” college was worth the cost. On the other hand, when recent grads from 2006 and later were asked, only 38 percent “strongly agreed” that college was worth it. But wait, it gets bleaker! Out of recent grads with $50K or more in student loans, only 18 percent “strongly agreed” that college was worth being buried in debt for the foreseeable future.
And in case you were wondering how many graduates borrowed $50,000 in loans, survey said 15 percent.
A person attached to the poll for Gallup said of the survey, “This is the alumni themselves. And what we know is that less than 20 percent who took out $50K or more feel that it was worth it. That’s a big eye opener. If we can’t get over that, I fear we risk the tidal wave of higher ed demand crashing down on us.”
As someone who has $27K in student loans hanging over her head, I think college was worth it for the education I got and the relationships I fostered with mentors. Do I still think colleges are trash, soul-sucking institutions exploiting students? Absolutely. If it makes you feel better, just know I’m right there with ya.