Is a Liberal Arts Education a Valued Investment?

April 2013

There is continuing debate regarding the value of a liberal arts education. In today’s economic climate, political leaders are making the argument that there must be a direct link to spending money for an education that leads to a specific job. Even within the higher education community, there is a view that students who earn Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in liberal arts fields are less likely to be sought after by employers.

It is important to know that the use of the word liberal in this context refers to a broad education that is intellectually liberating, one that teaches analytical thinking from multiple perspectives, and creativity in problem-solving. At Washington Adventist University, our vision is to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities. We prepare students to be responsible citizens and individuals who will contribute to the improvement of their communities. What is very clear, if we examine the data, is that a college degree is indeed a financially sound investment. In 2011, a report issued by the Center for Education and the Workforce stated that those holding Bachelor’s degrees earn nearly a million dollars more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

For our graduates, a college degree is a tremendous investment that will continue to return personal reward in spiritual development, in income, in intellectual development, and in professional flexibility. In today’s economy, a college education gives a great return!