Not Getting What You Paid For

Scott Jaschik:

Stories abound of college graduates working at Starbucks, living at home and facing an uncertain economic future. And many of these stories have led to increased questioning of the value of a college degree.
But a report released today says that — despite the current economic hardships faced by people at all levels of education — the value of a college degree remains strong.
The unemployment rate for recent four-year college graduates is 6.8 percent, higher than the rate for all four-year graduates of 4.5 percent. But the 6.8 percent is much, much better than the 24 percent rate for recent high school graduates. These figures, and a series of others, appear in “The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm,” from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.
As the name of the report suggests, the report does not claim that college graduates have been immune from the recession. The report’s summary begins with this sentence: “When it rains hard enough and long enough, everyone gets a little wet.”
But the report seeks to distinguish between reports of the real difficulties facing recent graduates and the idea that these hardships mean that their degrees lack genuine economic value.