NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “College Issues”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at college issues.  Mike, a college degree is still viewed as the road to prosperity for most individuals, but there certainly are issues with the college path.  What are the top concerns and how might they be addressed?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Three big issues: student performance, relevance of field of study, and cost
  2. Student performance – studying less; one-third never graduate
  3. Address by providing options – alternative trade schools – and more employer interactions
  4. Many employers only care about completing college – field is irrelevant
  5. Address with competency exams in fields, and maybe fewer fields
  6. Costs – tuition and fees rising faster than inflation, even with subsidies
  7. Address with lower cost instructional techniques (IT) and timed tuition – lower for four years; higher thereafter
  8. I’m ME

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service