. The American Council on Education, the organization which commissioned the survey, asked young college-alumni questions about their education experience and their overall satisfaction. Hundreds of alumni from twenty-two participating two and four-year colleges and universities between the ages of 25 to 39 were chosen randomly to participate in the poll.
Considering the rising cost of tuition expenses and the years it traditionally takes to pay back student loans, researchers found the overwhelmingly positive feedback from alumni surprising. Almost 90% of respondents said that, despite the monetary investment and amount of time it takes to earn a college degree, their college education was worth it. 85% said that their college education had helped them sufficiently prepare for the job they currently held, while 80% said, if given the chance; they would choose the same undergraduate college or university again.
Council president, Molly C. Broad, noted that not only were the results surprising, but that they also highlighted the continuing value of a college degree. Said Broad, “for something that takes this much time and this much money, it still draws a nearly unanimous declaration of its value.”
The results of the survey also provided a solid argument against state and federal officials who have supported cutting higher education funding and financial aid opportunities. And, says Kevin P. Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, one of the participating schools, the results provide education advocates with additional leverage in terms of influencing lawmakers to make higher education a top priority.