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ASU president speaks out on the benefits of a college education

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 2:07 p.m. MDT

President Barack Obama, right, and Arizona State University President Michael Crow sing during the National Anthem prior to the commencement address Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)  (Matt York, AP) President Barack Obama, right, and Arizona State University President Michael Crow sing during the National Anthem prior to the commencement address Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Matt York, AP)

What’s the most important thing to consider when selecting a college?

Is it return on investment? Academic prestige? Cost?

In the wake of the Great Recession, some have been questioning the practicality of going to college at all, arguing that instead of comparing the cost of universities more young people should seek technical training.

In an interview with CNN Money that ran last Friday, Arizona State University’s president Michael Crow responded to some of the concerns and reservations about the necessity of college.

When asked whether or not college is worth the cost of tuition, Crow responded with a popular statistic.

“The return on investment for a college education, in terms of additional earnings, is about 12 percent per year over your lifetime,” he told CNN Money’s Pat Regnier. “The answer is unequivocally yes.”

When asked if too many people are being pushed to college while many well-paying technical jobs don’t require a four-year degree, Crow expressed a different concern.

“Everybody's not being pushed to college. First, we have to get everybody through high school, and we can't even do that yet.”

He then proposed a push to increase both high school and college graduation.

“If we could get 40 percent of the high school grad population up to some level of technical training, that would be fantastic. And then maybe get 40 percent to the university level. That's what we need based on the job profiles of the future.”

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