The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education.
In a troubled economy, it's harder to make the case for a degree in English, or any college major without an obvious career path. More undergrads are opting for "practical" degrees in business, engineering or nursing.
Declining enrollment and financial problems forced Antioch College to shut its doors in 2008. Now, the 155-year-old college in Yellow Springs, Ohio is reopening with a goal of creating an affordable model for small, liberal arts programs.
Most for-profit institutions focus on degrees in "hard skills" like business, technology and health sciences. But American Public University System is a for-profit, online school that believes the liberal arts can be a money maker.
IS THE DEGREE WORTH IT?
Going to college costs a lot of money. It's a challenge for students and families to see the long-term payoff when they're faced with the prospect of big debt. But economist Chris Farrell explains why a college degree is still a good investment. More
SUPPORT The Tomorrow's College series is funded by a grant from Lumina Foundation, which is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college, and by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, which is dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to the improvement of education.