The background and pro and con arguments were written by ProCon.org staff based upon input from the following footnotes (directly referenced) and sources (used for general research and not directly referenced):
Footnotes:
  1. US Census Bureau, "After a Recent Upswing, College Enrollment Declines, Census Bureau Reports," www.census.gov, Sep. 3, 2013

  2. Marvin Lazerson, "The Disappointments of Success: Higher Education after World War II," The History of Higher Education, Eds. Harold Wechsler, Lester F. Goodchild, and Linda Eisenmann, 2007

  3. John R. Thelin, A History of American Education, 2004

  4. Amanda M. Fairbanks, "2011 College Grads Moving Home, Saddled with Historic Levels of Student Loan Debt," www.huffingtonpost.com, May 13, 2011

  5. Richard Vedder, "Going to College Is a Mistake for Many," www.usnews.com, Nov. 17, 2011

  6. Richard Vedder, "Twelve Inconvenient Truths about Higher Education," www.theccap.org, Mar. 2012

  7. US Department of Education, "Database of Accredited Programs and Institutions," www.ed.gov, Aug. 16, 2013

  8. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, "Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?," www.thehamiltonproject.org, June 2013

  9. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, "Where Is the Best Place to Invest $102,000—In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?," www.hamiltonproject.org, June 25, 2011

  10. College Board, "Trends in College Pricing, 2011," www.advocacy.collegeboard.org, 2011

  11. Sandy Baum, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Pays, "Education Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society," www.collegeboard.com, 2010

  12. Christian Yang, "DON’T Drop out to Do a Startup," www.blogchristianyang.com, Jan. 2, 2013

  13. Lumina Foundation, "A Stronger Nation through Higher Education," www.luminafoundation.org, June 2013

  14. Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith, Jeff Strohl, "Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018," www.georgetown.edu, June 2010

  15. Marcelina Hardy, "7 Benefits of Earning a College Degree," www.education.yahoo.net, 2013

  16. Arthur Chickering, "The Seven Vectors: An Overview," www.cabrini.edu (accessed Sep. 5, 2013)

  17. Cooperative Institutional Research Program, "1994 Nine Year Follow-Up Survey (of 1985 Freshmen)," Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, 1995

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  19. Robert A. Hummer and Elaine M. Hernandez, "The Effect of Educational Attainment on Adult Mortality in the U.S.," www.prb.org, July 2013

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  21. Sandy Baum and Jennifer Ma, "Education Pays 2007: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society," www.collegeboard.com, 2007

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  23. Andrew Sum, Ishwar Khatiwada, and Joseph McLaughlin, et al, "The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School: Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers," www.americaspromise.org, Oct. 2009

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  27. Indiana University at Bloomington, "Internship Experiences of IUB Psychology Majors – 50+ Examples," www.indiana.edu (accessed Sep. 26, 2013)

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  33. College Board, "Average Published Undergraduate Charges by Sector, 2012-13," www.trends.collegeboard.org, 2013

  34. Darrius Mind, "Best Day of My Life," www.darriusmind.blogspot.com, May 4, 2009

  35. Meta Brown and Sydnee Caldwell, "Young Student Loan Borrowers Retreat from Housing and Auto Markets," www.libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org, Apr. 17, 2013

  36. Chris Denhart, "How the $1.2 Trillion College Debt Crisis Is Crippling Students, Parents and the Economy," www.forbes.com, Aug. 7, 2013

  37. US Congress Joint Economic Committee, "The Causes and Consequences of Increasing Student Debt," www.jes.senate.gov, June 2013

  38. Blake Ellis, "Student Debt Delays Spending, Saving – and Marriage," www.money.cnn.com, May 9, 2013

  39. Robin Marantz Henig, "What Is It about 20-Somethings?," www.nytimes.com, Aug, 18, 2010

  40. Andrew Sum, "The Nation’s Recent College Graduates Face Significant Labor Market Problems,”"www.huffingtonpost.com, Oct. 19, 2010

  41. Heidi Shierholz, Natalie Sabadish, and Nicholas Finio, "The Class of 2013: Young Graduates Still Face Dim Job Prospects," www.epi.org, Apr. 10, 2013

  42. Jordan Weissmann, "44% of Young College Grads Are Underemployed (and That’s Good News)," www.theatlantic.com, June 28, 2013

  43. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Fastest Growing Occupations, 2010 and Projected 2020," www.bls.gov, Jan. 2012

  44. Glen Stansberry, "12 Business Founders Who Succeeded without a College Degree," www.openforum.com, Oct. 8, 2010

  45. Mark Schneider, "Colleges Waste Millions on Students Who Drop Out," www.aei-ideas.org, Aug. 19, 2010

  46. Harvard Graduate School of Education, "Pathways to Prosperity," www.harvard.edu, Feb. 2011

  47. National Conference of State Legislatures, "Reconsider Funding for Colleges and Universities," www.ncsl.org, Nov. 2010

  48. New America Foundation, "Federal Higher Education Programs – Overview," www.febp.newamerica.net, July 10, 2013

  49. State Higher Education Executive Officers, "State Higher Education Finance," www.sheeo.org, 2012

  50. Mark Schneider and Lu (Michelle) Yin, "The High Cost of Low Graduation Rates: How Much Does Dropping Out of College Really Cost?," www.air.org, Aug. 2011

  51. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, "Student Loan Debt by Age Group," www.newyorkfed.org, Mar. 29, 2013

  52. Tamar Lewin, "Child’s Education, but Parents’ Crushing Loans," www.nytimes.com, Nov. 11, 2012

  53. Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, "Boiling Point? The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing," www.themanufacturinginstitute.com, 2011

  54. Anthony P. Carnevale, Tamara Jayasundera, and Andrew R. Hanson, "Along the Way to the B.A.," www.georgetown.edu, Sep. 2012

  55. Felix W. Ortiz, III, "The Middle-Skill Issue," www.huffingtonpost.com, Sep. 25, 2013

  56. Craig Brandon, "With College, Only the Motivated Need Apply," www.usnews.com, Nov. 17, 2011

  57. NPR, "A Lack of Rigor Leaves Students 'Adrift' in College," www.npr.org, Feb. 9, 2011

  58. Eric Gorski, "45% of Students Don’t Learn Much in College," www.huffingtonpost.com, Jan. 18, 2011

  59. Hart Research Associates, "It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success," www.aacu.org, Apr. 10, 2013

  60. McKinsey & Company, "Voice of the Graduate," www.mckinseyonsociety.com, May 2013

  61. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, "Report: Private Student Loan Borrowers Face Roadblocks to Repayment," www.consumerfinance.gov, Oct. 16, 2012

  62. National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), "The Student Loan ‘Debt Bomb’: America’s Next Mortgage-Style Economic Crisis," www.nacba.org, Feb. 7, 2012

  63. William J. Bennett, "The Looming Crisis of Student Loan Debt," www.cnn.com, Dec. 6, 2012

  64. Joshua Zumbrun and Craig Torres, "Bankers Warn Fed of Farm, Student Loan Bubbles Echoing Subprime," www.businessweek.com, May 7, 2013

  65. Walter Hamilton, "Student-Loan Delinquency Rate Hits Danger Zone, Report Says," www.latimes.com, Jan. 30, 2013

  66. Phil Oliff, Vincent Palacios, Ingrid Johnson, and Michael Leachman, "Recent Deep State Higher Education Cuts May Harm Students and the Economy for Years to Come," www.cbpp.org, Mar. 19, 2013

  67. Phillip Elliott, "College Costs Keep Rising Faster Than Inflation," www.csmonitor.com, Aug. 13, 2013

  68. Rebekah Coleman, "Bachelor’s Degree: Generation Y’s High School Diploma," www.loans.org, Mar. 18, 2013

  69. Daniel B. Smith, "The University Has No Clothes," www.nymag.com, May 1, 2011

  70. Steve Rhode, "4 out of 10 Actually Were Able to Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy—but Most Never Try," www.huffingtonpost.com, Jan. 7, 2013

  71. Joe Valenti and David A. Bergeron, "How Qualified Student Loans Could Protect Borrowers and Taxpayers," www.americanprogress.org, Aug. 20, 2013

  72. William Hare, "Ideological Indoctrination and Teacher Education," www.wce.wwu.edu, 2007

  73. Scott Jaschik, "Moving Further to the Left," www.insidehighered.com, Oct. 24, 2012

  74. David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, 2007

  75. John H. Pryor, Kevin Eagan, Laura Palucki Blake, Sylvia Hurtado, Jennifer Berden, and Matthew H. Case, "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2012," www.heri.ucla.edu, 2012

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