Crow responds, “unequivocally yes” that it’s still worth paying for college, but also suggests that not everyone needs to attend a four-year college for success:
“If we could get 40% of the high school grad population up to some level of technical training, that would be fantastic. And then maybe get 40% to the university level. That’s what we need based on the job profiles of the future.” So while paying for college might be well worth the investment, a four-year college might not be the right choice for everyone.
Crow describes how Arizona State University has adjusted to the new economic realities by improving student outcomes while reducing costs. The recession has put a major squeeze on public universities, which are getting lower funding from states at the same time that families are also strapped for money to devote to paying for college. He believes that state universities should be judged solely on the quality of its graduates and on the impact those graduates have on society. In order to make those judgments in what’s worth paying for college, families should have access to information such as the percentage of graduates go on to graduate school, or how rapidly they are employed, by field or major. Although ASU is less selective that other schools, its goal is to have a 75% graduation rate, in line with the most selective public universities.