UNC Campus

Ask the President


Q: Is a college degree worth it?

Students and families are bearing the lion’s share of the cost of higher education as state taxpayer investment has declined precipitously. Often, paying tuition means borrowing money. Graduates are entering a difficult job market. Does this all add up to mean that a UNC education is no longer a good investment? No, it does not.

It is estimated that 67 percent of jobs in Colorado will require post-high school education by 2018 (national numbers are similar). Employers tell us that they look for workers who are resilient, flexible, entrepreneurial and creative. They want employees who can solve problems, work in teams and think across disciplinary lines. Communities value engaged citizens who give back in multiple ways.

UNC is listening.

These attributes have always been hallmarks of UNC graduates. We place value on students graduating with lifelong skills needed to flourish in their chosen professions and in life.

You may have seen our billboards saying that UNC graduates lead a richer life. We mean this in every sense. We are investing in our students’ experience in and outside of the classroom, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We are crafting programs to meet the needs of traditional students, working adults and professionals through a variety of means and in a variety of locations, including online. We are collaborating with our colleagues in community colleges and K-12 schools to develop multiple pipelines for students to earn a UNC degree.

The cost of a UNC degree is an investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime to all of us.


Ask the President

UNC President Kay Norton answers questions related to higher education in each issue. Email your question for consideration to northernvision@unco.edu