“Those of us in higher education have long sought to measure the impact of a college degree beyond its individual economic value. While we all deeply believe that a college degree provides enormous personal and public value that includes preparing students to be more informed and engaged individuals, we haven’t been able to quantify that belief. The results of the Gallup-Purdue Index study serve as an important first step in providing data to help understand how a college education enriches the lives of students. The survey should also help colleges and universities better understand steps they might take to increase the number of their graduates who go on to lead happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives.
“I applaud Purdue University President Mitch Daniels for his leadership in this endeavor. We’ll undoubtedly all learn more about the full impact and value of a college education and the importance of ensuring students are actively engaged as we continue to digest these and future findings. This inaugural report does appear to reaffirm the value that public universities provide in terms of both cost and experience. Our institutions will use these findings and other information to provide even further value to current and future students.”