Public Agenda

Is College Worth It For Me?

How Adults Without Degrees Think About Going (Back) to School


“Is College Worth It for Me?” examines the expectations, attitudes and needs of adults who are thinking about earning post-secondary credentials after having spent some or in most cases many years in the workforce, shining a light on the motivations, expectations and concerns of the growing numbers of adult prospective students across the country. The report is the result of survey and qualitative research with Americans whose pathways into higher education are nontraditional, in that they are entering college not right out of high school, but after some, and often many, years out of school.

Public Agenda conducted this research with support from The Kresge Foundation. Data for this study were collected through a nationally representative survey of 803 adults (18 to 55 years old) without college degrees who are considering enrolling in a postsecondary program to earn a college credential (adult prospective students).

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