The Value of Liberal Arts Education: Fordham Students Share Their Perspectives


Dean XXX and Fordham students in attendance at the April 28th conference

FCRH Deans Lenis and Parmach and Fordham students in attendance at the April 28th conference. Photo by Bruce Gilbert.


At a recent interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education, a distinguished panel comprised of university presidents, academics, and the Under Secretary of Education discussed the value of liberal arts education. Each speaker made compelling arguments highlighting the importance and value of liberal arts education, including information about cost, salary, lifetime learning, the residential college campus experience, and even the history of the debate on the worth of liberal arts education.

But what do the students think? As individuals who made the deliberate choice to opt for a liberal arts education, what do students at Fordham University believe is the value of their education? What are their biggest concerns?

Predictably, student debt is high on their priority list.

“Educational institutions and government have the responsibility of ensuring that student debt does not become so great that it cannot be paid off,” said Carolyn Guerrero, FCLC ‘17. “While it is reasonable to expect a student to pay for their college tuition (and thus pay off their loans, if they took them), it is not reasonable to expect a student to pay off a loan when interest rates are so high that” his or her debt burden becomes unmanageable.  According to Guerrero, “it then becomes an institutional responsibility to make sure that debts do not become insurmountable.”

Similarly, Katrina Bernhardt, FCLC ’17 believes that responsibility for the recent, increasing student debt crisis lies with educational institutions and government, as well as with the student.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.