Last week, I read an EdSurge article about some colleges providing free textbooks to students. EdSurge reporter Nadia Tamez-Robledo wrote that undergrads spent an average of $1,240 for textbooks during the 2020-2021 school year. The number was $220 higher for students attending two-year colleges.
Access and Affordability
Last week, the National Association of College and Business Officers (NACUBO) released the preliminary results of a study of the average tuition discount rates issued by private, non-profit colleges for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Pandemic to Permanent – Another Prognostication of Higher Ed Changes Accelerated Due to the Pandemic
May 1 was the date that many colleges required accepted applicants to indicate their commitment to attend for the coming 2021-22 school year. It must have also been the date for predictions on higher ed trends and changes.
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.
“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.