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.
Access and Affordability
“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.
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.
The latest research report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Buyer Beware – First-Year Earnings and Debt for 37,000 College Majors at 4,400 Institutions was issued this week. Authors and researchers Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, Martin Van Der Werf, and Artem Gulish continue their analysis of the continually expanding data provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard that arguable began with their 2019 report, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges.
Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce released a report yesterday, examining various proposals for free college, including one proposal from presidential candidate Joe Biden. The report’s authors — Anthony Carnevale, Jenna Sablan, Artem Gulish, Michael Quinn, and Gayle Cinquegrani — provide a brief history of the various free college proposals adopted in some form by at least 15 states over the past few years.
In the recent issue of Washington Monthly, Kevin Carey recommends a different policy architecture for American higher education. He writes that the best time to build it is now.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the finances of colleges and universities globally. With many colleges and universities in the U.S. reversing course and going online, some families are asking for tuition discounts. It’s too soon for final reports on enrollments, even as some universities report unprecedented numbers of incoming freshmen who requested an enrollment deferral (also called a gap year). There have been more than a few articles written about the financial impact of COVID-19, and a few more have attempted to rate or rank the financial risk of institutions based on publicly available data. Recently, I read an article written by a professor who argued that institutions should increase financial aid in a situation like this rather than discount tuition.
After writing about the four Grand Challenges to higher education, I decided to write about how a digital university, APUS, has addressed some of these widespread concerns. Student success was the first widespread concern written about by Grajek and Brooks, and they further refined their definition in multiple subparts which is helpful.
The month of March was not a good month for higher education. With the national, state, and local social distancing recommendations, college leaders recognized that college campuses had to be closed. Within two weeks, almost all of our colleges and universities transitioned to online classes with students attending classes remotely from home, their off-campus apartments, or in a few cases, from their dormitories.
In this week’s New York Times, Dana Goldstein and Anemona Hartocollis write about the difference in enrollments at the Ivy Plus (eight Ivy League universities plus Duke, Stanford, M.I.T., and the University of Chicago) institutions when students’ family incomes are considered. The source of the data for these reporters is a paper co-authored by economists Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan, Income Segregation and Intergenerational Mobility Across Colleges in the United States. The paper follows their 2017 research paper, Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility.