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Summer’s Here For New Grads, But What’s Next For Them?

Happy Friday folks,

As May wraps up and millions of students graduate from either high school or college, we are reminded that educational attainment is a valuable asset in today’s economy.

David Leonhardt of The New York Times’ Upshot recently analyzed the unemployment rate by educational status, and noticed that, “people who have earned two-year degrees have substantially lower jobless rates than high school dropouts.”

While that observation may be intuitive, it’s worth noting that people with 2-year degrees (either occupational or academic) have unemployment rates under five percent.

This is good news, but Americans need better access to higher education in this economy. And Andrew P. Kelly of the American Enterprise Institute highlights this need in YG Network’s book, Room To Grow: “Even though costs are up and value is down, some form of postsecondary education—not just a bachelor’s degree—is more important than ever to economic success,” he wrote.

Conservatives have the opportunity to help middle-class Americans find a way to advance their children’s education in a more affordable fashion.

Kelly notes that in order to do so, conservatives must work to:

  • reform student loans
  • create space for new financing options,
  • break down barriers to entry (for competency-based education)
  • support occupational opportunities
  • promote data and transparency

These are just some of the recommendations that the policy Swiss army knife that is Room To Grow can offer to conservatives who want to make a difference.

Seize the day.