A College Education, Measured and Graded and Ranked and Weighed

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The [Department of Education’s] report states: “In today’s world, college is not a luxury that only some Americans can afford to enjoy; it is an economic, civic, and personal necessity for all Americans.” Most defenders of the liberal arts would agree with that statement. And yet the report does not elaborate why college is a civic or personal necessity. Rather, it emphasizes that the only relevant measure of college value is postgraduation income.

For JSTOR Daily, Nicholas Tampio looks at the value of college in the historical context of the liberal arts and the Obama administration’s failed plan for a national college rating system.


Michelle Vider is a writer based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in The Toast, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Atlas and Alice, Baldhip Magazine, and others. Find her at michellevider.com or @meanchelled. More from this author →