Can I help you?
Yes, I would like to return my degree.
The reason for your return?
It doesn’t work.
This could be the conversation of the future as college administrators face an increased focus on a college degree’s return on investment. A University of Massachusetts-Lowell grad actually wrote to the college president asking for her money back. Haley Colvertino reportedly never heard from the school and did not expect to see a refund check.
It was not that long ago when we would hear college educators claim that higher education was for the pursuit of learning. Not any more. Crushing debt coupled with poor job prospects and chronic underemployment for recent college grads has reshaped the equation in a major way. Education has always been seen as the way to advancement in America. It is the way people worked their way up the ladder.
The degree problem should not come as any surprise to those in universities as the number of PhDs on food stamps has tripled. The main question is the lack of an educational payoff an effect of our recession, or a long-term trend? Is it simply a case of people electing to get skills for which there is no demand? At this point I am leaning toward recession. Once hiring picks-up that will tell us the strength of a Bachelor degree.
Whether strong or not, college costs and resulting debt levels need to be brought under control. No matter what the value of a degree, crushing debt in and of itself will determine the real value of going to college.