President Michael S. Roth joined other educators on KCRW’s “To The Point” to discuss the spiraling cost of higher education, and answer the question: Is college worth it?
He discussed steps Wesleyan has taken to make a degree more affordable. “Wesleyan is one of those schools with a very high sticker price…but in our case, almost half of our students are on financial aid, and the average grant is almost $40,000 for students. I think that schools like Wesleyan and other highly selective institutions around the country have to find ways to contain costs” by cutting back on amenities that are not key to an education, Roth said. Wesleyan is also using innovation, including technologies like MOOCs, to save money.
Roth also discussed the message of his book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. “Whenever there are economic anxieties in the United States, these are expressed in anxieties about higher education, from the beginning of the 1800s until our own day. At each juncture, the United States has found ways to develop a liberal education that is pragmatic and isn’t just about learning things that you can recite at cocktail parties or enjoy in the privacy in your own home. We have shown in America that liberal education serves innovation, serves creativity, provides our graduates with the capacity for meaningful work and for effective citizenship.”
Discussion on college begins around 8 min. Roth comes in around 20 min.