2018 Guide Introduction: College is Worth It
Student and their families increasingly ask whether college is “worth it” and whether they can afford it.
The answer comes in the form of counter questions: Can they afford not to pursue a college education? What will the impact be if they don’t get a college degree? Some students and families look to “return on investment,” and indeed, median annual earnings for full-time working college-degree holders are greater than for those with high school diplomas only—and the gap has been widening.
But the return to both graduate and college communities is much greater than dollars and cents—such as the ability to think critically and creatively, the acquisition of new and stronger skills, a deeper understanding and knowledge of our complicated world, and the likelihood of a better quality of life.
Here in New England, world-class education in fields ranging from art education to zoology is offered by the region’s 250-plus campuses— public and private, two-year and four-year, professional and liberal arts.
The region’s colleges and universities also prepare students for occupations that may not have existed when those students first stepped on campus. University research labs spin off new companies and industries. Vibrant campuses energize towns and cities.
New England colleges and universities serve more than one million students annually from around the globe, sending them forth as educators, skilled technicians, entrepreneurs, engineers, poets, artists, and future Nobel laureates. They are a second “home” to more than 86,000 foreign students. Students, from every corner of the world, access courses and degree programs 24/7 from New England’s colleges via online learning opportunities.
The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) works to foster innovation and collaboration in the region. Created in 1955, NEBHE’s mission is to expand, through interstate coopera- tion, the education opportunities and services available to the region’s residents, with a focus on college affordability, access, and success.
For example, NEBHE’s “Tuition Break” program provides a discount on the out-of-state tuition students pay at public colleges and universities in the other New England states when they pursue specialized majors.
More than 9,000 students take advantage of this program every year, accessing over 850 unique and cutting-edge academic degree programs and saving $8,000 on average each year on their tuition bills.
Since it was established in 1957, Tuition Break has provided New England students and families with over $1 billion in savings, and the six states have saved untold millions of dollars by avoiding duplication of programs already available in other New England states. Learn more about the program in this guide or visit our website at nebhe.org/programs-overview/rsp-tuition-break/overview.
The 2018 Guide will be a valuable resource in connecting you with the region’s wide array of colleges, opening doors for continued learning, degree attainment, career advancement, and intellectual enrichment.
Michael K. Thomas is president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education and publisher of The New England Journal of Higher Education. Email: [email protected].