Today’s College Students Value Connections and Experiences More Than Higher Salaries

Barnes & Noble College Releases the “Value of College” Study, the Newest
Research from its College Insights Platform in Partnership with Money

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$BNED #college–For today’s students, chasing financial success is less important than
preparing for a fulfilling career, gaining exposure to new ideas and
developing critical thinking skills, according to the “Value of
College,” a new study released today by Barnes
& Noble College
, a Barnes
& Noble Education
company (NYSE:BNED)
and Money.
These findings are in stark contrast to traditional motivations for
obtaining a college degree, such as increased earning potential and
connections to influential alumni.

“Today’s students are more interested in fulfillment and connections
than generations of the past,” said Lisa Malat, Vice President and Chief
Marketing Officer, Barnes & Noble College. “These students are also very
cost conscious.”

According to the Barnes & Noble College/Money “Value of College” study,
nearly two-thirds of students said they eliminated certain schools from
consideration due to cost, while only half of parents said cost was a
determining factor. The study findings also indicate that less expensive
schools deliver as much or more perceived value and benefits for both
parents and students than more expensive schools.

Malat continued, “While today’s students recognize the high cost of
education, many do not have a full appreciation for the sacrifices
parents make to pay for that education. In addition, many do not take
advantage of the career services resources available on campus.”

According to the survey, 58 percent of parents cut back on everyday
spending and 41 percent cut back on saving for retirement to finance
their children’s education. More than a third of students, however, said
their parents made no sacrifices at all or were unaware of any
sacrifices. The study also shows a disconnect in regards to career
preparation. While many colleges and universities place great emphasis
on providing career services like resume writing and interviewing
skills, 30 percent of students said they were unaware or did not take
advantage of the support offered by their school.

“This study validates what we discovered in our previous College
Insights research reports on Millennials and Gen Z – schools need to be
more proactive in reaching out to their students in this area,” said
Malat. “We see this as an opportunity for colleges and universities to
help drive even greater success for their students.”

The Barnes & Noble College “Value of College” study is part of the
company’s College
Insights platform
, which regularly taps into its network of more
than 10,000 students, parents and faculty to better understand the
thinking, behaviors and expectations of current and future college
students and other constituencies. Completed in partnership with Money,
this particular survey was designed to gauge today’s attitudes about
higher education among both students and parents. The survey explored
everything from the cost versus the value of college, to the realities
of life after graduation.

“As our third annual Best Colleges rankings make clear, affordability
can go hand in hand with a top-notch education and career prep —if you
know where and how to look,” said Money editor Diane Harris.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • 60 percent of students don’t expect to leave the nest immediately
    after college, both in terms of where they live and the financial
    support they will continue to need.
  • Students are most likely to cite cost and social fit as reasons why
    they would switch schools.
  • Students say aspects like male-to-female ratio, fraternities and
    sororities and intercollegiate athletics rank near the bottom of their
    selection criteria.

For more information on Barnes & Noble College’s “Value of College”
study, visit


The comprehensive survey was conducted online by Barnes & Noble College
Insights SM, utilizing its propriety student and parent POV
panels. The study compared and contrasted three groups: 1,100 current
college students, 1,583 parents of current college students, and 1,583
parents of graduates.

To accurately represent U.S. four-year college students and their
parents, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) was used
for demographic information, including (1) to select respondent samples
from the B&NC panels, and (2) to weight the survey responses of
participants. As a result, differences between respondent groups are not
due to demographic imbalances.


Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company (NYSE:BNED),
is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes
& Noble College currently operates 751 campus bookstores and the
school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 5
million college students and faculty nationwide. As a strategic partner,
Barnes & Noble College is committed to offering a complete support
system and an unmatched retail and digital learning experience to foster
student success in higher education. The Company is a leading voice in
understanding and shaping today’s college student experience through its
College Insights platform.


Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED), one of the
largest contract operators of bookstores on college and university
campuses across the United States and a leading provider of digital
education services, enhances the academic and social purpose of
educational institutions. Through its Barnes & Noble
College subsidiary, Barnes & Noble Education serves more than 5 million
college students and faculty through its 751 stores on campuses
nationwide, delivering essential educational content and tools within a
dynamic retail environment. Through its digital platforms LoudCloud and
Yuzu®, Barnes & Noble Education offers an excellent digital
reading experience and access to a broad catalog of content and
technology. Barnes & Noble Education acts as a strategic partner to
drive student success; provide value and support to students and
faculty; and create loyalty and retention, all while supporting the
financial goals of college and university partners.

General information on Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. can be obtained by
visiting the Company’s corporate website:


Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.
Carolyn J. Brown, 908.991.2967
President, Corporate Communications