Lubbers Looks to Restore Higher Education Confidence

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana's higher education commissioner Monday addressed skepticism about the value of education beyond high school. During her sixth State of Higher Education Address, Teresa Lubbers argued the increased earnings of a college graduate "more than exceed" the total costs of college.

During her speech, Lubbers acknowledged that consumer confidence toward higher education has decreased in recent years. She says it's crucial for the commission, universities and others must work to restore that confidence by detailing the return on investment of a degree.

Lubbers says there are signs of progress, including slowing tuition increases, decreasing student debt levels and improving college graduation rates. However, concerns about overall college costs and graduates' readiness for the workforce remain.

The commissioner used her address to outline what she calls three key arguments in favor of higher education. First, she said college is worth the cost, citing statistics suggesting college graduates' lifetime earnings often top those of Hoosiers without a degree by $1 million or more. Second, she argued higher education strengthens the economy, with each graduating class of Indiana's public colleges contributing at least $13 billion more in additional economic impact. Finally, she said financial aid pays off for both students and the state in terms of return on investment.

You can see the full text of the address by clicking here.

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