We partnered with Populace, a think tank dedicated to building a world where all people have the chance to live fulfilling lives, to investigate what Americans want out of higher education.
Using a choice-based-conjoint experiment, we asked Americans to decide between two hypothetical higher education institutions. Decisions were contingent on more than 60 features, such as campus culture, school status, access, and the course of study.
We found that Americans’ higher education priorities are deeply practical, and driven by the ability of higher ed institutions to alleviate financial concerns, offer good job prospects, teach applied skills, and develop industry connections.
Perhaps more surprising is what Americans don’t value from the college experience: competitive sports teams, a degree from an elite college, nor a wild party scene of newly-independent 18 year-olds. Before you ask, college-bound and currently enrolled college students don’t value them either.
As colleges and universities reorient how they educate students in a post-pandemic world, we may see tailgating and frat parties replaced with hands-on labs and a cleaner degree-to-job pipeline. All for a much, much lower cost.
Want to learn more about higher education preferences? Check out the full report at Populace’s website.