Source:

CNN Schools of Thought, 6/28/12

Summary:

Opinion piece related to a recent study by the University of Tennessee that found that people who graduated with a bachelor's degree in four years saw higher wages than those who graduated in six years. The difference was about $6,000 on average. The study posited a few reasons for the difference including the head start of on-time graduates and the fact that "some employers may see a difference in aptitude between those who graduate on time and those who don’t."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Inside Higher Education, 6/29/12

Summary:

California's budget-related decision to reduce spending on the generous Cal Grant program will hit for-profit career schools the hardest. The "budget plan requires colleges to have a six-year graduation rate of at least 30 percent and a maximum three-year cohort default rate on students loans of 15.5 percent." Community colleges are exempt from these requirments because their students do not rely as heavily on federal loans.

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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The Education Trust, May 2012

Summary:

A group of public university systems created the Access to Success Initiative in fall 2007 in order to improve access and completion at their schools. In fact, they set two specific goals:

  • Increase the number of college graduates in their states
  • Ensure those graduates more broadly represent their states’ high school graduates

This report marks the midpoint of the 10-year process. While the schools so far have improved access for underrepresented students, the success rates have not improved enough to close gaps between groups of students. In some (mostly two-year) schools, completion rates declined for these students.

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/8/12

Summary:

The Chronicle produced a detailed look at what every student in the freshman class at Elmhurst College in Illinois paid for their first year of college. Like most similar colleges, Elmhurst cannot cover all its students' financial needs. "This means the gift aid students receive may be related to their financial situation, how badly the college wants them, or both."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Inside Higher Ed, 4/2/12

Summary:

In a new report the Center for the Future of Higher Education Policy, a faculty-focused think tank, argues that technology and cost-cutting will not solve the access crisis in defunded community colleges. This group is more concerned with students intending to transfer to bachelor degree programs than students pursuing terminal associate degrees. The report criticized the focus on workforce development because it "threatens academic quality and student access, as well as social mobility."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Forbes, 3/31/12

Summary:

Guest columnist Allan Collinge argues that the Ryan budget's application of "fair value" accounting to the federal student loan program falsely concludes that the system is losing money. "So, to say that the federal government is losing money, not making it (and a ton of it) on the new, Direct Loan program would be beyond incredible.  It would be a lie."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Center for Studies in Higher Education, February 2012

Summary:

Abstract of a new research report on the correlation between declining levels of public funding for public colleges and universities and the increase in private-sector options. The author concludes, "the future tertiary market will not be the result of a well thought out policy at the national or state levels, but a quasi-free market result that will foster lower quality providers and fail to meet national goals for increasing the educational attainment level of Americans."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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New York Times, 2/24/12

Summary:

Column covering a new report from two economists focusing on the hidden majority of private-sector colleges: those that do not receive Title IV aid. While these schools are typically much smaller than their more well-known cousins, the authors found "there is significant overlap in the types of non-degree programs offered at non-Title IV and Title IV for-profit institutions." In addition, "We find that the Title IV institutions charge tuition that is about 75 percent higher than that charged by comparable institutions whose students cannot apply for federal financial aid."

Posted
AuthorKeith Blakeman

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The Civil Rights Project, UCLA, 2/14/12

Summary:

Based on three reports, the CRP calls for changes to Calfironia's community college system. The central problem: "Almost 75% of all Latino and two-thirds of all Black students who go on to higher education in California go to a community college, yet in 2010 only 20% of all transfers to four-year institutions were Latino or African American." A small number of community colleges that serve white and asian audiences account for most of the state's transfers to four-year universities.  

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Inside Higher Education, 1/15/12

Summary:

In a December court filing in the legal challenge brought by APSCU, the Departement "acknowledged using flawed data in a study on the impact of race on student loan repayment rates, having omitted black students from its calculation." The exclusion led the Department to conclude that the "racial composition of students was not a statistically significant contributor to how an institution stacks up on loan repayments."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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American Enterprise Institute, 1/5/12

Summary:

Commentary about media coverage of for-profit education companies' lobbying spending during the recent round of regulations in 2010 and 2011. The author wrote, "All in all, thirteen traditional institutions spent more than $1 million in lobbying from 2010-2011, seven of whom were public systems funded with state tax dollars."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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National Bureau Of Economic Research, December 2011

Summary:

A recent study of private sector college student outcomes based on federal data that concludes that "for-profits leave students with far larger student loan debt burdens.  For-profit students end up with higher unemployment and “idleness” rates and lower earnings from employment six years after entering programs than do comparable students from other schools."

The report also indicated that "relative to community colleges and other public and private non-profits, for-profits educate a larger fraction of minority, disadvantaged, and older students, and they have greater success at retaining students in their first year and getting them to complete shorter degree and non-degree programs at the certificate and AA levels."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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University of Alabama Education Policy Center, December 2011

Summary:

This new report addresses the challenges faced by community colleges in reaching and providing job-related training to unemployed and underemployed workers in their local communities. Most of the challenges are related to declning funding during a period of persistenly high unemployment. As a result, "Colleges are pressured to offer noncredit 'quick training,' not higher cost programs in high demand technology-based majors, especially in large states."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Center for American Progress, December 2011

Summary:

Link to a report from the Center for American Progress that argues legal education provides a good research window into all of higher education: "with only 198 fully  ABA-approved law schools in operation, legal education is the bite-sized versionvof the phenomena that are forcing change in all of our colleges."

"And it describes the unpleasant surprise that awaits law students upon graduation: Tough a few lucky grads will make more than $130,000 per year, most new lawyers can expect annual salaries of around $63,000. With monthly loan payments near $1,000, graduates are fnding that membership in the legal profession is not the golden ticket they thought it would be."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/17/11

Summary:

News article covering the release of a new report based on a national survey of community college students conducted by the Pearson Foundation. The study found that 4 in 10 students could not register for the classes they wanted this fall. "Students who had the most difficulty with course enrollment were those attending part time and taking remedial courses."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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Government Accountability Office, November 2011

Summary:

This report assess the current state of governmental and accreditor oversight of distnace education. The report found many problems with this oversight, including the lack of separate standards for distance programs. Referring to federal oversight, the report stated the Department of "Education has increased its monitoring of distance education but lacks sufficient data to inform its oversight activities."

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AuthorKeith Blakeman

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The New Republic, 11/17/11

Summary:

Opinion piece from Kevin Carey of Education Sector that argues that online education will eventually transform higher education. Only some sectors of the industry will be transformed, however. "The institutions likely to get hit earliest and hardest include a lot of relatively non-selective regional four-year universities." Carey also suggested that for-profit institutions could fall victim to high qulaity online content: the major for-profits "have been successful primarily through innovations in marketing, business processes, harvesting federal financial aid dollars, and scale. Their actual educational programs, even those conducted online, are often quite traditional—and expensive."

Posted
AuthorKeith Blakeman