LAFAYETTE -- The second year of a study gauging the happiness and success of college graduates sets its sights on a topic that’s been widely discussed in Indiana: college affordability
The Gallup-Purdue Index has collected responses from 60,000 college grads over the last two years, and this year’s numbers show the average degree-holder amasses about $35,000 in debt by the time they leave school – and most seem okay with that.
More than three-quarters of graduates polled this year agree or strongly agree their college experience was worth the cost. Still, Gallup’s education polling head Brandon Busteed says his team expected the number would be higher.
“I would never rate a university solely on how many graduates feel their education was worth the cost, but I do think it’s an important question to throw in the mix," Busteed said. "And it’s an interesting one, because far fewer college graduates strongly agree with that question than we thought we would see.”
Private, for-profit colleges fare much worse than nonprofit schools, with only half as many graduates of those institutions saying they “strongly agree” they paid for a worthwhile diploma. Among all grads, the perception of a degree’s worth also increases depending on how much the degree holder’s job pays.