Today, President Obama outlined his initiative to tackle the ongoing national problem of the rising cost of college. We agree that college should remain affordable and Louisiana public higher education, and LSU in particular, has done its part in keeping college costs contained for students, as tuition rates remain well below national and even regional averages.
We at LSU welcome a new federal funding emphasis on the concept of ‘value,’ which means new funding policies could incentivize colleges and universities to provide strong lifelong career earnings and other returns while also maintaining lower than average student loan indebtedness and below average student costs. We believe that it is about time that this becomes part of the national higher education dialogue. LSU provides great value when compared nationally to other leading institutions. In addition to our low tuition rate and low student debt load of graduates, LSU also offers excellent graduate starting and mid-career earnings thanks to the work of our great faculty and staff. For example, the mid-career earnings of LSU graduates are 15% above our peer university average, meaning an LSU degree equates to better success in the job market.
This is good news for all Louisianans because they all have access to a flagship-level education at a lower price than other states’ students. In other words, the rate of return of an LSU-educated citizen is one of the best in the nation and we gladly welcome a new federal dialogue that will carefully take into account higher education prices, costs, and outcomes in the form of graduate benefits.
Below, you’ll find more information about today’s announcement. I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback about this new initiative and LSU’s role in making higher education a better value for all students.
F. King Alexander