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Humanities Pays Off

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 04 February 19 2019

February 2019

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has published an analysis of “The economic benefit and costs of a Liberal Arts education”. The paper reviews existing research on the economic benefits and costs of a liberal arts education both to individuals and to society at large.
They first analysed to what extent higher education helped graduates to earn more than their parents did before them. Secondly, they analysed to what extent this effect is different for Liberal Arts graduates than in other fields. They show that the available evidence does not support the hypothesis that a Liberal Arts education is a poor investment compared to pre-professional programmes – and certainly not compared to no higher education at all. The graphs also show – not surprisingly maybe – that student/staff ratio in US institutions is highest in private non-religious institutions and lowest in public institutions.

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