Student Repayment Crisis and the Value of Higher Education
The cost of post-secondary education (PE) continues to increase, which has contributed to elevating federal loan demand, and as of the fourth quarter of 2020, equaling a debt of $1.56 trillion in the US. The purpose of this research was to compare two post-secondary institutions for specific alignment with the local labor market, examine institutional economic benefits and costs, and impact of loan default. Bakersfield College (BC) and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) are both public, Hispanic Serving Institutions, in central California. Despite similarities, loan default rates of each institution differ; six-year mean rates, 24.6% at BC, 7.7% at CSUB. The analysis revealed that although the top degrees at BC and CSUB did not align well with local labor market demands, the individual and institutional economic benefit exceeds the costs. Importantly, both the individual and institutional economic benefits are highly dependent on completing the degree, the time to graduation, and then entering the labor market. The value of this research, specifically a cost-benefit analysis to examine recent trends in local wages, tuition fees, defaults rates, poverty, and alignment with the local labor market, provides insight on the impact of local PE on the individual and the community, providing both educational and economic policy direction.
Queenan, Elisa P. and Street, Brian D.
"Student Repayment Crisis and the Value of Higher Education and the Economy in California’s Kern County,"
Journal of Student Financial Aid: Vol. 50
, Article 6.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jsfa/vol50/iss2/6