Trustees | General Education

What Will They Learn? 2017-18

A Survey of Core Requirements at Our Nation's Colleges and Universities
October 17, 2017 by ACTA Download PDF Press Release

The idealism of the information age has given way to serious concerns about the proliferation of misinformation, which travels faster than you can say “retweet.” Americans rely on their institutions of higher education to provide students with the knowledge they need to question prevailing orthodoxies and think critically about important issues facing the nation. Many colleges promise their students a liberal arts education that will prepare them for demands of living in a pluralistic society and set them up for life-long success. But do they fulfill that promise or leave educational quality up to chance? What Will They Learn? is the only college ratings guide that evaluates the quality of general education programs—the courses that every student must take in order to complete their degree. The findings are sobering: Of over 1,100 colleges and universities surveyed, over half have significant gaps in their curricula, leaving students at a disadvantage come graduation. Lackluster educational quality contributes to widespread doubt about the value of a college degree, especially as tuition climbs and graduates struggle to make payments on their student loans. What Will They Learn? 2017-18 and its interactive companion website, can help orient students, parents, and trustees as they consider what educational quality looks like in 21st century America. See if your college makes the grade!


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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