Episode 10 - What is the Real Financial Value of Higher Education?

Preston Cooper takes a unique approach to calculating the return-on-investment (ROI) for college degrees. Preston is a Research Fellow at The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that conducts research on expanding economic opportunity for those that have the least. In this episode, Dr. Jason Altmire talks with Preston about his research that looks at the lifetime financial value of 60,000 different programs.
Preston shares how his ROI analysis method is unique from others and how it measures programs across all kinds of institutions. Preston and Dr. Altmire also discuss the problem in “socially valuable” programs that put students into professions that don’t make a lot of money, and if these programs should be exempt from broad-based accountability. A better way to enforce accountability according to Preston would be gradual financial penalties instead of complete termination of federal funds, which would create incentives for institutions to improve programs.