College Debts But No Degree? Reform the Pell Grant Program

Originally published in The Boston Globe

December 27, 2012
Edward Glaeser (Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

You may have recently shared a holiday meal with a relative who has a bachelor’s degree, plenty of debt, and not much of a job. You may wonder whether college degrees have become worthless. For dropouts, though, the picture is even worse: The average adult with a bachelor’s degree earns 59 percent more than the average adult who attended college and didn’t finish. And for all the emphasis the United States puts on promoting access to college, especially as a way to improve the prospects of students from poor families, there has been far less of a focus on making sure these students end up with degrees. MORE >(Need Boston Globesubscription)