Asked

We Asked the Experts Whether College Is Worth It

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

With so much uncertainty around how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will progress through the fall, many college students have a difficult choice to make: Is it safe to head to campus for the next semester, and for those campuses that won’t open for in-person instruction, is college worth it at all? Higher education institutions, much like the states in which they’re located, are far from a monolith. As of press time, of 780 colleges tracked by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 63% were planning for in-person classes, 8% planned to go totally online, 17% had proposed a hybrid model, 4.6% are holding out for more information, and the other 7% are considering a range of scenarios. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s still very risky for colleges and universities to proceed with full-size classes and events but smaller, socially distanced classes or a hybrid model might be more effective in limiting the spread of disease. Of course, virtual-only models pose the least risk.

That means, for students and their parents, deciding whether to proceed with their college plans is neither easy nor straightforward. “We are all operating under uncertainty, and colleges and universities have just as many crystal balls as governors,” explains John Pryor, founder of higher education research firm Pryor Education Insights.

Education is expensive

And the fact is, college isn’t getting any cheaper. The average cost of one academic year at a four-year public

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