In tough times, liberal arts colleges defend their value

Half of graduates from liberal arts colleges were satisfied with the quality of their education.

David Anderson knows that parents today are skeptical about the liberal arts. That they worry about their children graduating in a tough economy with a degree that doesn’t spell out that first job. That they’re weighing a hefty price tag against the possibility of unemployment.

So, in a quick talk to a ballroom full of high school juniors and their families, the president of St. Olaf College made the opposite argument. “If St. Olaf had given me an education that prepared me exactly for 1974,” Anderson said, “I would now be unemployed and irrelevant.”

Questions about the value of higher education are pressuring small, liberal arts colleges that specialize in general degrees and depend on tuition — and Minnesota has many of those.…Read More