Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Which Texas Public College Degrees Require Excessive Student Debt?

“Across the county, the debate over whether and to what extent a college degree justifies the time and expense required to attain it rages on,” says Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Andrew Gillen, Ph.D. “But this is the wrong question to debate. No one gets a generic ‘college degree.’ Instead, a student receives a degree in a particular major from a specific college.

“Traditionally, national data on the value of degree programs fail to dig to the depths required to provide genuine guidance. Texas students, parents, and policymakers can now access and learn from new U.S. Department of Education data showing the earnings and debt of recent graduates of the state’s public universities.

“One of the key insights is that low-performing programs do not respect higher education’s pecking order. Texas’s Tier 1 public institutions offer many degrees that have good debt-to-earnings results, but they also offer degrees that require students to take on too much debt. Community colleges fare substantially better than 4-year public institutions in the state.

“These findings inform our recommendations that call for legislation that would employ debt-to-earnings tests to ensure that tax-payer funds are not used to support colleges and programs that fail to adequately prepare their students for success in the labor market.”

To access TPPF’s new web tool which allows students, parents, and policymakers to explore the new data, click here:

To read the paper in full, please visit: