The Latest on Students’ Right to Know
- BY Sarah Coffey
College isn’t a golden ticket. Less than half of bachelor’s degree recipients are working in a job closely related to their major.
And it’s a trend that is likely to continue. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the health care and social assistance sector will add the largest number of jobs to the market by 2030, and plenty of these require less than a college degree. Yet, many students are force fed the idea that college is the only option for postsecondary life and are sent on a one-size-fits-all path toward degrees they may or may not use in the future. Whether or not they use their degrees, they’ll almost certainly be paying them off for a very, very long time.
There is more than one way to achieve success and land a good paying, fulfilling job. And students should know all their options before taking on the burden of student loans.
What if students were provided with information on the most in-demand careers; average salaries for different jobs; the typical costs of college, vocational programs, and trade schools; and the earning potential of educational programs? They’d have all the information they need to make an informed decision to set themselves up for success.
This is the basis of Students’ Right to Know. And states like Florida are taking action by creating databases like MyFloridaFuture that provide this kind of valuable data to high school students so they can make a fully informed plan for the future.
Here’s the latest from FGA on Students’ Right to Know…
Washington Examiner: Rather than forgiving student debt, hold the education establishment accountable
“Student debt is now more than $1.7 trillion, with the average borrower owing nearly $30,000 at graduation. After six months, only half of the college graduating class of 2020 was employed full time, according to a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In 2019, that figure was 55%, so the COVID-19 economy cannot take the blame. In fact, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last year that 44% of college graduates work in jobs that do not even require a college degree. There is a serious disconnect between schools and students in preparing the next generation for lifelong success in a modern economy.”
The Wall Street Journal: Florida helps families see behind the college curtain
“Last year Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a “student right to know” bill, making it easier for high-school students and parents to find more-affordable college paths and financially rewarding degrees. Because of this law, the state university system now maintains an interactive online database, My Florida Future, that lets students and parents see average actual earnings for degree programs one, five and 10 years after graduation; average student loan burdens; comparisons of earnings across all 12 state universities; and other helpful information.”
Tampa Bay Times: How Florida is raising the bar for higher education
“MyFloridaFuture is a game-changer. It used to be all but impossible for students to discover this information. Now it’s available at the click of a button. My 10th-grade son has already used the tool and so have countless other students. Such transparency will likely lead to lower student loan debt and higher career earnings. It may also lead students to choose a different path, such as vocational schools or apprenticeships or the military, if a particular degree doesn’t seem worth the debt.”
More from FGA…
“For students who have shouldered high costs to obtain a degree, not realizing the wage and employment premium can be a major setback. Even for students that eventually do realize higher earnings after obtaining a degree, the high up-front cost of college can dig a hole that takes years to overcome—on average it takes student loan borrowers two decades to pay off the debt.
Fortunately, policymakers can ensure prospective students are armed with the facts by requiring publicly funded colleges and universities to disclose completion rates, average incomes by degree received, and average student debt so that students and parents can know before they go.”
“Despite the student debt crisis, the road to college is still sold as the only option to young adults. Providing additional information can help them make an informed decision.”