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Should Elite Schools Be Embarrassed About How Few Students They Educate?

In last week’s Washington Post, former Chronicle of Education Editor Jeff Selingo wrote an opinion piece about Harvard and its peers and their continued low admission rates. According to Mr. Selingo, some of these institutions’ alums may view the low, single-digit admissions rates as a confirmation of their alma maters’ popularity and prestige. He believes that these numbers are signs of institutional failure.

Reasons for College Admissions: “It’s the Economics, Stupid!”

“It’s the economy, stupid!” was Bill Clinton strategist James Carville’s directive to keep his presidential campaign staffers on message during his successful 1992 run for the presidency. While I chose not to use a paraphrase of that slogan in my recent post about Caitlin Flanagan’s article stating that private schools in the U.S. have become obscene, perhaps I should have.

Undergraduate Degree Earners Remain Steady in 2020

In a newly issued report, the National Student Clearinghouse reported that the total of 3.7 million new undergraduate degree earners was flat in the 2019-2020 academic year for the first time in eight years. Even more alarming, while the total numbers remained the same, the number of first-time graduates decreased 1 percent (26,000), while non-first-time completers continued to increase by 2.7 percent.

Facilitating Cheating in College – Lots of Blame to Share

In a recent Forbes article titled “This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid,” Susan Adams introduces her readers to Chegg, the most valuable edtech company in America. Chegg’s capabilities to assist students with cheating are so well known that Ms. Adams reports that students refer to the act of accessing Chegg’s website as “chegging.”

Calculating the ROI of College: Whose Approach Is Better?

In Monday’s Inside Higher Ed, Nic Ducoff (co-founder of Edmit) penned an opinion piece questioning the approach of some organizations that have attempted to calculate the ROI of college. Mr. Ducoff writes that most approaches include cost and earnings, but how those variables are determined impacts the result and how the result is presented to prospective students impacts the influence it will have on their decision making. I could not agree more.

The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education

Burning Glass Technologies, a data analytics company that matches labor data with institutional degree data, published a white paper this week entitled Bad Bets: The High Cost of Failing Programs in Higher Education. The data team at Burning Glass accessed Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data searching for institutions that offered new degree programs in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.