First-Generation and Continuing-Generation College Students: A Comparison of High School and Postsecondary Experiences

By Jacob Martin

A brief analyzing the postsecondary experiences of first-generation and continuing-generation college students was recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  The report defined first-generation students as students whose parents both have had no postsecondary education experience and have a high school education or a lower level of educational attainment, and defined continuing-generation college students as students who have at least one parent who had some postsecondary education experience. Continue reading

Students Need More Information to Help Reduce Challenges in Transferring College Credits

By Jared Bass

In a recent report from the US Government Accountability Office, the government watchdog highlights several obstacles students encounter when attempting to transfer academic credits from one institution of higher education to another.  Among these obstacles are a lack of information about the transfer process and the financial implications associated with credits lost in the process.  In conducting this study, GAO analyzed transfer rate and transcript data primarily from the 2004-2009 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) and data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).  GAO supplemented these data with information obtained from interviews with students, higher education organizations, and institutions.  Continue reading

CFPB Data Point: Student Loan Repayment

By Jael Greene

A recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examines growth in student loan balances over the last fifteen years in order to help understand how larger student loan balances affect a borrower’s financial decisions. The report analyzed data from the CFPB’s Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) using a nationally representative sample of de-identified credit records to examine the trends in repayment status of student loans. These records provide payment histories and outstanding balances of both federal and private student loans. Annual repayment cohorts were created in order to compare borrowers across time and examine similarities in repayment trends.  Continue reading

Is School Out for the Summer? The Impact of Year-Round Pell Grants on Academic and Employment Outcomes of Community College Students

By Casey Nguyen

A recent study by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University examines changes in student outcomes as a result of year-round Pell (YRP). It measures the differences in credits earned, credential completion, and labor market outcomes, all of which can provide insight into the value of YRP. The study looks at the impact of providing additional summer financial support for community college students in one state.  Continue reading

Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at MSIs

By Jacob Martin

A recent report from The American Council on Education, entitled Pulling Back the Curtain: Enrollment and Outcomes at Minority Serving Institutions, uses National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) data to track learning outcomes for students who enrolled in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in 2007. The study compares graduation rates of exclusively full-time students in NSC’s longitudinal study to figures released by the U.S. Department of Education. The differences appear to be attributable to discrepancies in data collection and interpretation. Though efforts are made to collect thoroughly representative data, NSC relies on voluntary submissions from institutions, many of whom do not supply requested information. By comparison, the U.S. Department of Education collects required data from all federally recognized institutions through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Continue reading

Is It Really Cheaper to Start at a Community College? The Consequences of Inefficient Transfer for Community College Students Seeking Bachelor’s Degrees

By Casey Nguyen

In a recent study, researchers from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University discuss the trade-offs of attending a two-year college before transferring to a four-year college. Their research considered institutions’ sticker price (tuition and fees) and cost of attendance (total expenditures), students’ credit accumulation and failed credits and the diversionary effect which measures the probability of completion for students who attend community college. Continue reading

How Financial Literacy, Federal Aid Knowledge, and Credit Market Experience Predict Loan Aversion for Education

By Jacob Martin

A recent multi-year study on causes of federal student loan aversion (defined as the unwillingness of students to borrow to finance their education), entitled How Financial Literacy, Federal Aid Knowledge, and Credit Market Experience Predict Loan Aversion for Education uses survey responses from high school seniors, community college students who did and did not borrow for higher education, and adults without a college degree. Continue reading

The Condition of Education 2017: Summaries of Postsecondary Education Data

By Jael Greene

The Condition of Education 2017 was recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This annual report summarizes the latest education data in the United States using a number of indicators in reporting postsecondary statistics, including undergraduate and post-baccalaureate enrollment, characteristics of students and institution graduation and retention rates. Continue reading

Varying Degrees: An In-Depth Look at How Americans View Higher Education

By Jael Greene

Just this month, New America released a report titled Varying Degrees: New America’s Annual Survey on Higher Education. In order to better understand some of the perceptions surrounding higher education and economic mobility, the report surveyed 1,600 Americans ages 18 and over. The results revealed that while there were differences across age, gender and socioeconomic status regarding the value and goals of higher education, there were also significant common themes among the participants’ responses. Continue reading