Study: Only half of college alumni agree their education was worth the cost

In this May 31, 2014 photo, graduates throw their caps in the air in triumph at the University of Delaware's commencement ceremony in Newark, Del. (AP Photo/Emily Varisco)

U.S. (WLFI) — New data reveals that only half of college alumni strongly agree their college education was worth the cost. That’s the number from the second Gallup-Purdue Index that may raise some eyebrows on a national level.

“I have to work so hard and pay so much money just to get this degree,” said Savannah Rosenthal, a junior.

“I went through getting the loans with my parents and stuff. It was kind of like a realization of how much it is to attend college,” said Jake Thurston, a freshman.

These Purdue University students will be the first to say a college education isn’t cheap. But they do hope it will be worth it.

“I think a degree from Purdue is a great thing to have. Employers are looking for that out there in the workforce, so I think it will pay off,” said Thurston.

“I know in the long run, I’m going to be getting so much more money for the rest of my life, even. So it will be worth it,” said Rosenthal.

But is college worth the cost? That was one of several questions on the Gallup- Purdue Index — a national study of more than 60,000 college graduates over the last two years. The survey reveals that only half strongly agree that their college education was worth the cost.

“It is certainly an arresting statistic that only 50 percent strongly agree,” said Brent Drake, Chief Data Officer.

The survey also indicates that almost two-thirds of alumni who graduated from 2006-2015 had to use student loans, with a median amount of $30,000.

Nearly half who had debt postponed further training or postgraduate education, while a third or more have delayed buying a house or car.

Drake said the survey allows the university to get a better idea of well-being and workplace engagement.

“It does, I think, a very admirable job of talking about what our value statement is in higher education. It gives us areas that we can look at to improve upon in campus and ways that we can push to improve those efforts,” said Drake.

Administrators hope to release the results of just Purdue alumni in October.

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