The sequels continue as responses come in to the now-famous Atlantic article by Caitlin Flanagan about independent school graduates comprising a higher percentage of elite college admissions than their overall share of high school graduates would indicate.
Business of Education
In a recently published research paper, “Priced Out: What College Costs America,” National Association of Scholars Research Fellow Neetu Arnold examines three issues in U.S. higher education: inflated tuition, continuously expanding administrative positions, and increasing levels of student debt. She also shows how they join and reinforce each other to the detriment of America.
In the April 2021 online issue of The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan’s article “Private Schools Have Become Truly Obscene” has elicited some competing responses. If the title alone was not jarring, the subtitle, “Elite schools breed entitlement, entrench inequality – and then pretend to be engines of social change,” clearly indicates the points to be made by the writer.
Perhaps it was Rebecca Natow’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education Review titled “Why Haven’t More Colleges Closed?”. Maybe it was Allison Salisbury’s article in Forbes titled “Building Equitable Upskilling Programs: It’s Not Degree Vs. Short Credentials – It’s Both.” Also, it could be the hundreds — if not thousands — of articles and books about the pending changes in higher ed that have been written and published over the past two decades. Clearly, the most recent two articles cited triggered my motivation to pen this article.
Longtime Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino wrote an article last week discussing a proposal in Florida’s legislature to cut public scholarship funding to college students majoring in areas of study that do not have an immediate path to employment after graduation.
Credential Engine released its latest report, “Counting of U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials,” which is a summary of its attempt to list all postsecondary credentials in the United States. Thanks to funding from Ascendium Education Group, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Google, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, and Walmart, Credential Engine was able to hire the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) to prepare the analyses for the report.
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.
Finding a website rich in data is a dream for a quantitative-oriented person. In my recent article about Texas 2036, I wrote that the organization’s mission is “to enable Texans to make policy decisions through accessible data, long-term planning and state-wide engagement.” I reviewed the Texas 2036 site further and found a number of interesting data reports.
In 2036, Texas will celebrate its bicentennial. It’s estimated that Texas will add 10 million people to its current population of 29 million by then. Depending on whether or not California’s population continues to hold firm at 39.6 million or stagnates due to people leaving the state, Texas could be the most populous state in the U.S. in the future.
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.