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.
Access and Affordability
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.
When I read that Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce had issued another report about the value of certificates and associate degrees, I assumed that the research related to the database utilized to generate its analysis about the ROI of a college degree, which I critiqued in an initial, and follow-up, post. I was surprised when the paper revealed a different research basis.
I recently wrote about the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s new report, the ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges, which was generated from the database created for their broader report, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges. Despite experiencing a liberal arts education through my undergraduate history major at Duke University, something about the report bothered me. Ultimately, I understood what was causing my consternation.
The researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a report, the ROI of Liberal Arts Colleges. Anthony Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Martin Van Der Werf used the findings from their broader study, A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges, to create a report focused specifically on liberal arts colleges. Since I previously wrote about the methodology behind the latter report, I will only reiterate those thoughts I deem relevant to the new one.
In the Winter 2020 issue of National Affairs, James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley write about the past, present, and future of state flagship universities. Can these schools remain financially solvent while educating residents at the low tuition rates that were common in past decades? Based on a recent Washington Post survey of 50 such institutions, the authors answer “no.” While not all of these findings are news, the authors astutely assess negative changes in public higher education and recommend the true reforms needed.
Brandon Busteed, president of University Partners at Kaplan and former director of education & workforce development at Gallup, recently wrote an article for Forbes, “Americans Rank A Google Internship Over A Harvard Degree.” He notes that when 2,000 Americans were asked what would be most helpful for a high school graduate to launch a career, a Google internship or Harvard degree, nearly two-thirds of the respondents selected Google. The December 2019 Kaplan survey was conducted by QuestResearch Group.
Among my newsfeeds over the holidays was one from the Lexington, KY Herald Leader about an announcement from Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY about a new four-year, tuition-free scholarship for local graduating high school students. The offer applies to students admitted over the next decade and requires they live on campus all four years and pay for room and board, approximating $12,000 annually.
“Over the past 20 years, more than 31 million students have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree or certificate” is the headline for a recent Strada, Gallup and Lumina Study report. Another recent National Student Clearinghouse report provided an overview of this population by state, noting that a nuanced review of the data is required before making conclusions and recommendations. The researchers pulled Strada-Gallup survey data from more than 42,000 individuals who did not complete college to complement the Clearinghouse study and shared the following key findings.
Last week, non-profit research firm ITHAKA S+R released an issue brief, discussing the policies and reforms necessary for states to increase access to higher education and degree attainment. The authors write that the U.S. has a projected shortage of five million workers with appropriate postsecondary education credentials by 2020, noting that most undergraduate students today are nontraditional.