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Report: Students Think Value of College Declined

March 1, 2021
 
 

Ninety-four percent of college students surveyed believe online classes should cost less than in-person instruction, according to a new report from Barnes & Noble Education. The report is based on responses from 1,438 students and provides an outlook on the future of higher education following the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly half of the students surveyed also said that the value of college has declined as a result of the pandemic.

Barnes & Noble Insights, the company’s research arm, also surveyed 323 faculty members and 104 administrators from November to December of 2020 and found that students are more likely than these personnel to question the cost of college, a press release about the report said. While nearly all the students surveyed said the cost of online classes should be reduced, only 43 percent of administrators and 41 percent of faculty members believed it should be, according to the report.

When asked what services should be provided by their colleges, students expressed interest in career planning services (47 percent); student life services, such as mental health support (42 percent); and academic support services (30 percent), the report said. Only 21 percent of students said their college should offer amenities and nondegree programs (17 percent).

The survey results indicate that colleges will need to shift their traditional models to be more “outcome based,” providing students with more career preparation for the post-pandemic job market, the report argued. “The value of a college degree will become more dependent on its ability to drive post-grad success,” it said.

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