The value of a college education

In my recent conversation with Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle, I discussed the changes to the college admissions process starting in Fall 2021, as well as sentiment about the value of a college education.

Although colleges are non-profit organizations, which in the collective culture are imagined to be altruistic endeavors where the potential of the young is discovered, the modern-day college is also an organization dependent on revenue to provide services. University administrators are normally responsible for recruiting and retaining college students as tuition-paying “consumers” where education is a service to be “purchased”, a duty highlighted amidst the disruption of COVID-19.

As academic leaders abruptly moved classes online in mid-March, without reducing tuition, they needed to claim that the value of in-person and online instruction were essentially equal, to paraphrase [Associate professor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, Mitchell] Stevens. That runs counter to colleges’ customary position and leaves them in an awkward predicament for the foreseeable future.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 2020

Now, university administrators have a dilemma, as I asked:

“What is really the value of a college education?”

San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 2020

Students and parents, as well as university administrators equally have responsibility to define the value of a college education, both individually and collectively. Without greater alignment between student’s aptitudes with the proper educational environment, the disenchantment from unfulfilled promised material success not materializing upon college graduation, compounded by increasing student debt and a volitile employment situation, will only continue to grow.

Read the full text of the article, With Cal State and other colleges moving online, higher ed has to prove it’s value

Since 2003, Jill Yoshikawa, EdM has helped clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly so clients succeed. Contact her at (916) 769-6092 or