[ONLINE] - Varying Degrees: 5 Years Later


Last year, the data collection for Varying Degrees: New America’s Annual Survey on Higher Education occurred right before the full weight of the pandemic hit, turning all our lives upside down. One year later, our data collection happened at what we hope is a turning point of this crisis.

Varying Degrees turns five just as we enter into a new normal. We now have five years of data, and thus an understanding of the impact national events have had on the opinions of Americans about education after high school--from two presidential elections, and a global pandemic, to economic recovery and recession and recovery again, to midterm elections, culture wars on campus, and a racial reckoning. 

As the health crisis winds down and we enter a new phase of economic recovery, one that will rely on millions of students entering or returning to colleges and universities, it will be instrumental that we understand America’s perceptions of the value of educational opportunities after high school, how these opportunities are funded, and how we hold institutions accountable for this investment.

Please join New America’s Higher Education program as we invite previous authors of Varying Degrees for a retrospective look at Varying Degrees and consider the future of higher education and the role policy. 

Follow the conversation online with #VaryingDegrees and by following @NewAmericaEd.


12:00 PM - Welcome and Presentation of
Varying Degrees 2020

Rachel Fishman
, @higheredrachel
Deputy Director for Research, New America

Sophie Nguyen, @SophieSG17
Policy Analyst, New America

12:15 PM - Discussion: Varying Degrees Five Years Later


Tamara Hiler
, @TamaraHiler
Director of Education, Third Way

Confirmed Participants:

Alejandra Acosta
, @aleacostaed
Policy Analyst, New America

Rachel Fishman, @higheredrachel
Deputy Director for Research, New America

Sophie Nguyen, @SophieSG17
Policy Analyst, New America

Ernest Ezeugo, @ErnestEzeugo
Policy Analyst, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

Ashley Clark, @ashley___clark

12:45 PM - Audience Q & A