College Choice: The Value of It All

Nov 30, 2016

A special from NPR News, "College Choice: The Value of It All" follows nine college seniors. NPR's Robert Siegel spent more than a year checking in with the students, talking with them about their choice of school and how things turned out.

When these young adults set out to pick a college in 2010 and 2011, they were making a decision of a lifetime amid big financial obstacles: soaring tuition and the great recession. And as they progress through their colleg careers, a debate over the value of college grew louder.

A long held mantra -- that the best investment is a good education -- is increasingly being called into question. Some politicians, high-profile entrepreneurs and even educators, have become publicly skeptical of the worth of degree that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain.

Credit Elissa Nadworny / NPR

In that context, Siegel set out to learn how nine bright and engaging college students feel now about the choices they made back then. How have they handled the financial burden? And how well-positioned do they feel they are for the future? Robert spent a year visiting with people who made a variety of decisions -- attending a big state university, private college and community college.

We've gathered together the highlights of Robert's reporting for "All Things Considered" into a single hour-long narrative, driven by these questions and these students.

Tune in this Sunday, December 4 at 7 p.m. for "College Choice: The Value of It All."