July 7, 2021
Survey finds students support their institutions and mostly plan to re-enroll — but increasingly doubt whether education is worth the price.
Even more than usual, college leaders are eager to get into the minds of their current and would-be students, to try to understand how the upheaval and uncertainty of the last 15 months have altered their expectations about their educations. A slew of surveys (including Inside Higher Ed‘s own) have revealed students to be somewhat unsatisfied with their college experiences, whether they were remote or in person, but to generally believe that their institutions and professors did as well as they could given the circumstances. And most say they plan to continue their educations.
The latest such survey largely reinforces that trend line — but includes some potentially worrying data for those concerned by growing public questioning of the value of a college degree.
The survey from Third Way and New America, two left-leaning Washington, D.C.-based think tanks, is the third in a series conducted since the pandemic. It covers a wide range of issues, but the focus of this article is on the students’ impressions of their learning and overall experiences in the last year and their views of their institutions and educations. Many of its findings will hearten college faculty members and administrators.