November Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (October edition).

Trends in College Spending, 1999-2009
Trends in College Spending, 1999-2009: Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? is the fourth in a series of reports on higher education finance from the Delta Cost Project. This report examines national college spending and trends leading up to and in the first year of the current recession. The report finds public community colleges are falling behind other institutions in their ability to meet enrollment demands due to declining per student state and local appropriations. In all types of institutions, students now pay a larger share of costs through tuition increases, the result of shifting costs as other revenue sources decline. Institutional data are available through the web-based tool, Trends in College Spending Online.

Unlocking the Gate: What We Know About Improving Developmental Education
Unlocking the Gate: What We Know About Improving Developmental Education, a recent report from MDRC, a non-profit, nonpartisan social policy research organization, provides a literature review of promising strategies community colleges can use to increase graduation rates among students enrolled in developmental or remedial education courses. The report highlights four interventions designed to help students stay on track in completing a degree including: (1) tactics to help students avoid developmental education before they enter college; (2) ways to accelerate the amount of time students spend in remedial classes once they enter college; (3) programs to build basic skills in context to other coursework; and (4) programs to enhance student learning such as advising or tutoring.

Survey of College and University Admissions Directors
The Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors addresses key issues for admissions professionals including policies and practices related to recruiting, recruiting special populations, the use of standardized tests, and the role of social media. “Rising concerns from families about tuition and affordability” was identified by four-year institutions as the top issue they are facing, and it was ranked second at community colleges, after “reduced state funding that affects the quality and availability of academic programs.” Admissions officers are also under increasing pressure to recruit students who can pay more (e.g., out-of-state tuition rates) with “recruiting more out-of-state (domestic) students” as the most important strategy used at four-year institutions (especially public universities) followed closely by “providing more aid for low- and middle-income students.” Two-thirds of community college admissions directors rated “providing more aid for low- and middle-income students” as a key strategy, and one-third rated “attracting more full-pay students” as a key strategy.

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