ROPS 2008

College vs. Unemployment: Expanding Access to Higher Education Is the Smart Investment During Economic Downturns

John Aubrey Douglass

In forming a strategy to deal with the severe economic downturn, President-elect Obama and his evolving brain trust of economic advisers should recall the largely successful and innovative efforts by the federal and state governments to avoid a projected steep post–World War II recession – in particular, the key role of higher education. Demand for higher education generally goes up during economic downturns. Expanding higher education funding and enrollment capacity may be as important as any other policy lever to cope with an economic downturn, including funding for infrastructure...