Donald J. Patterson

Breaking Down the College Transaction: Five Points for Parents

An imposing door at the University of Chicago

An imposing door at the University of Chicago

In my job as a professor I am often in conversations with people about the value of a college education and how different institutions articulate that value.   Over time I’ve come up with a response to the question “What is college selling?” and I decided to write it up into a Medium post.   It’s kind of a 10,000 foot view of the exchange, but it’s a good starting point for conversations with high school students who are thinking about college:

 It is one thing to spend 4 years studying moral philosophy when the price tag is $25,000 and a completely different enterprise at $250,000. Focussing on salary makes sense, but ignores other ways in which a college education can improve your future. When talking about potential schools with my kids, there are 5 outcomes that we consider: an education, a degree, a social network, identity development, and a job. (Full article on Medium)

C.V.: M-9

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