Grace College president, Dr. Bill Katip, is the author of an op ed piece about the value of a private college education that is published in today’s Fort Wayne, Ind., Journal Gazette. A portion of the column appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
Independent thought: Private colleges prove worth of their public investment
Is higher education worth it?
It’s a question our society is trying valiantly to answer. How we answer has many implications, including to our state budget.
Among the evidence to consider are new studies – one of which my institution took part in – that examine the impact of colleges and universities, and the expectations of employers concerning them.
The Center for the Future of Higher Education & Talent Strategy at Northeastern University released a report in December on the use and value of educational credentials in hiring. It showed that employers value educational credentials more (48 percent of respondents) or the same (29 percent) as they did five years ago. Nearly half of employers said an increased level of education is preferred or required for the same jobs as compared to five years ago, and a majority believe the demand for educational credentials will grow.
Last year, Grace College and the other 29 institutions that comprise Independent Colleges of Indiana were part of an economic impact study to evaluate the benefit our schools bring to the state in real dollars. The results were more than encouraging. Collectively, we contribute more than $5.5 billion per year to the state’s economy. Grace College’s individual impact is valued at nearly $84 million, including $41.5 million in direct expenditures.
These financial contributions to our state are significant on their own, but when evaluated in light of the state’s investment in our students, they are even more impressive. Indiana taxpayers support independent college students with about $4,700 per bachelor’s degree. At the same time, they pay about $42,500 (nine times more) for each public college degree. When you consider that private college students receive less than 4 percent of the state’s higher education budget, yet independent institutions produce nearly a third of Indiana’s college graduates, that’s a tremendous return on taxpayers’ investment.
Click here to read the complete article.