What weighs most on students and parents choosing among colleges? Is it premier faculty, a prestigious reputation or an engaged and exciting student body? According to respondents in the Princeton Review’s “Hopes and Worries” survey, it’s potential debt load, the Huffington Post reports. Some 39 percent, the plurality, said they were most concerned that their college degree and the associated bills not sink them into hopeless debt. Previously, students were more concerned that they couldn’t pay for their “dream schools.” The data highlights the serious concerns of a generation entering a marketplace that devalues their degrees and could signal a turning point in the higher education marketplace. While the news is unlikely to shake strategic thinking among the country’s top-tier institutions — currently enjoying record selectivity and runaway status in world reputation rankings — it could serve as a huge hint to universities seeking a competitive foothold in the higher education sector, particularly smaller private colleges and middling state public education systems…

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