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

Examining the Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients

By Jael Greene

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) recently released a brief titled The Debt Burden of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients which examines a student’s accumulated postsecondary debt four years after completing his/her bachelor’s degree in 2007-08. The student debt data includes debt accrued through federal student loan programs and private student loans. Continue reading

The Affordability Conundrum: Value, Price, and Choice in Higher Education

By Jael Greene

The Manhattan Institute’s newest report, The Affordability Conundrum: Value, Price, and Choice in Higher Education examined two types of questions: for whom is college affordable and why? The authors used data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) to analyze average net costs and compare student experiences. They also used an affordability benchmark for higher education called “the Rule of 10,” which maintains that students and their families should pay no more for college than the savings accumulated by setting aside 10% of their discretionary income for ten years, in addition to student earnings from work 10 hours a week while enrolled in school. Continue reading

Examining Students in Distress: Labor Market Shocks, Student Loan Default, and Federal Insurance Programs

By Jael  Greene

In late March, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) released a paper titled Students in Distress: Labor Market Shocks, Student Loan Default, and Federal Insurance Programs, which examined how the Great Recession (specifically the collapse in housing prices and massive employment losses) led to a dramatic rise in student loan defaults and the development of the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan. This is important not only because of the impact that student loan defaults have on the federal budget, but also because of the effects that defaulting can have on student borrowers since student loans, unlike other types of loans, are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Continue reading

An Examination of the Federal Work-Study Program: Does it work and for whom?

By Jael Greene

The Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment at Teacher’s College recently released a research brief examining the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program from data collected in 2016. The FWS program is one of the oldest federal programs that encourages college access for low-income students. The program provides up to 75 percent of the wages for student employees who work on campus for 10 to 15 hours each week and serves approximately 700,000 students per year- about one out of every 10 full-time first-year undergraduates. Continue reading