Purdue-Gallup Index Examines Value of College

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The GPI focuses on post-graduation outomes. The GPI focuses on post-graduation outomes.

Results from the second Gallup Purdue Index have been unveiled. The index is a partnership among Washington D.C.-based Gallup, Purdue University and Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation. It uses results from a national survey of 60,000 graduates to measure the value of a college degree.

This year's edition suggests half of all grads "strongly agree" the cost of a degree was worth the price of education. The satisfaction results vary when broken down by type of college:

  • 52 percent for public school grads
  • 47 percent for private, nonprofit school grads
  • 26 percent for for-profit school grads

The GPI also focuses on how students pay for college. Nearly two-thirds of participants who graduated within the last 10 years used student loans. These borrowers racked up a median loan total of $30,000.

Gallup Executive Director for Education and Workforce Development Brandon Busteed says "given that higher education has become one of the largest financial investments a person will make over their lifetime, it's a bit alarming that only half of all graduates strongly agree their education was worth the cost. Clearly, we all need to work harder on improving quality and reducing cost as much as possible."

Purdue President Mitch Daniels, who will be speaking in front of a Congressional Committee today in Washington on alternatives to student loan debt, says borrowing to pay for college can be a major obstacle after graduation and "in some cases, a long-term handicap."

The research also spotlights the connections between perception of value and how it relates to mentorship, positive relationships with teachers, experiential learning opportunities and post-graduate employment status.

You can read more about this week's GPI by clicking here.

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