A college degree is almost universally recognized as a pre-requisite for a professional career. For quite some time, however, that by itself has not been sufficient for students wishing to enter the professional ranks.
Ivy League schools are prestigious, with many students vying for acceptance and few actually earning a spot as an attendee. However, for people seeking the cushiest early-career salaries, the Ivy Leagues aren't paying off instantly.
Given their mission, there is a rough road ahead for HBCUs in trying to reconcile low graduation rates, high loan default percentages, and low entry-level salaries for those who graduate against the rising definitions of value in higher education.
Some children dream about the school they want to attend or the career they want to pursue for years. Most parents don't want to introduce the harsh reality of money into dreams like that. It's not easy, but it's better to sit down now and face facts.
Return on investment (ROI) may be a useful measure for deciding whether to buy shares in a bond fund or a software company; but college is not just a commodity, it's a process, in the best cases a transformative one.