Does everyone really need a college education?
For more than a century, Wisconsin has held up the basic idea that every student should have the chance to earn a college degree and that a public university system bolsters growth and investment throughout the state.
But now there's a growing debate on whether the cost of a diploma is really worth it.
Students and families are taking on enormous debt with no guarantee of a well-paying job. Some ask whether technical or online learning might be the smarter choice.
Meanwhile, others question whether universities still maintain their status as safe havens for intellectual inquiry. Some argue political correctness has so infused the academic experience that conservative ideas are no longer accepted.
Has college lost its role as a place to challenge one's personal and political thinking?
Together with Wisconsin Public Radio, we tackle these questions and more as we try to decide who college really serves in 2017.
Join us at 7 p.m. CT tonight by streaming the live event on this page or via NPR Facebook.
Who do you think needs college? Join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #NPRWhyCollege?
Featured Social Media Guests
L. Malik Anderson, @lmalikanderson, University of Wisconsin-Madison student
Kevin Helgren, @kevinhelgren, student body president, University of Texas at Austin
Virginia Kastilio, @Ginicanbreathe, CEO of GiniCanBreathe social media consulting, started to pursue a college degree but decided to leave to launch her career
Jared Kleinert, @jaredkleinert, entrepreneur, author of 2 Billion Under 20 and 3 Billion Under 30, chose not to pursue a college degree and instead started his businesses
Marty Nemko, @MartyNemko, renowned career coach
Hayley Sperling, @hksperl, University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Editor-in-Chief of The Badger Herald
Stephen Thompson, NPR Music editor, co-creator of Pop Culture Happy Hour, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus
Lynda Barry, cartoonist, writer, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Deshawn McKinney, University of Wisconsin-Madison student, president of the Wisconsin Union
Brian Raffel, co-founder and Studio Head at Raven Software, Studio Head at Raven Shanghai, University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus
Charlie Sykes, author, radio host, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus
Robin Vos, speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater alumnus
Sam Park, University of Wisconsin-Madison student
Brooke Evans, University of Wisconsin-Madison student
Kaitlynne Roling, University of Wisconsin-Madison student
First Wave Scholars