90% of 2023 graduates think college is really worth it. Here’s why they’re right–and politicians and pundits are wrong

 There has recently been a rise in skepticism from pundits and politicians regarding the value and effectiveness of higher education. However, in a volatile economy, higher education is still the best way for the younger generation to develop necessary skills such as critical thinking, adaptability, and knowledge. 

According to a national Harris Poll survey, 90% of this year's graduating class agrees that they are glad they went to college and that a degree is the best way to secure their future. Higher education comes in various forms, and degrees and lifelong learning are crucial in developing a skilled workforce. 

Despite some officials being at odds with public colleges and universities, investments in higher education are being made in some states such as Illinois. Higher education skeptics believe that a shorter course on narrow job skills is sufficient, but this outlook may hinder innovation and wealth generation. 

The survey results show that graduates are content with their college experience and their outlook for their future. However, 43% of respondents reported having $50,000 or more in debt upon graduation. Affordability and accessibility are vital to ensure that higher education reaches as many people as possible.

 While colleges and universities need to control their costs, public institutions need to continually make the case to state and federal lawmakers that public investment in higher education ensures a well-educated workforce and civic-minded citizenry. Overall, despite room for improvement, higher education remains an engine ready to drive the country forward in fast-changing times. 

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