May Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the title to access the full article. This article summary is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (April 2015 edition).

Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Completions (Teri Lyn Hinds)

In its most recent Snapshot Report, the National Student Clearinghouse reports on the percentage of students completing degrees at four-year institutions who were enrolled at two-year institution within the previous 10 years by state. Results reveal that in 14 states more than half of four-year degree recipients attended a two-year institution. Nearly 40% of graduates had attended a two-year institution 2-3 years prior to receiving their degree and over one-fifth of students were enrolled at a two-year institution for only a single term.

Achievement Gap Narrows as High School Graduation Rates for Minority Students Improve Faster than Rest of Nation (Zhao Yang)

New data released from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that high school graduation rates for black and Hispanic students increased by nearly 4 percentage points from 2011 to 2013. The rate of increase outpaced the growth for all students in the nation, narrowing the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas for the past two years.  The overall U.S. high school graduation rate hit 81% in 2012-13, the highest level in history.  This trend will impact higher education enrollment and student demographics.

Stats In Brief: What is the Price of College? Total, Net, and Out-of-Pocket Prices by Type of Institution in 2011-12 (Christine Keller)

This US Department of Education publication describes college costs for students using three measures:  average total price of attendance, average net price of attendance after grants, and average out-of-pocket net price.  The national cost figures are provided for public 2-year and 4-year institutions as well as for-profit and private nonprofit 4-year institutions.  The information is based on the 2011-12 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12).

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Retention Article: Who Gets to Graduate?

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The New York Times shared a piece entitled, “Who Gets to Graduate?” by Paul Tough on May 15, 2014. The article discusses the findings from a variety of retention strategies at the University of Texas at Austin aimed at changing the mind-sets of incoming students to build success towards graduation.

From the article (page 16):

“Every college freshman- rich or poor, white or minority, first-generation or legacy- experiences academic setbacks and awkward moments when they feel they don’t belong. But white students and wealthy students and students with college-graduate parents tend not to take those moments too seriously or too personally. Sure they feel bad when they fail a test or get in a fight with a roommate or are turned down for a date. But in general, they don’t interpret those setbacks as a sign that they don’t belong in college or that they’re not going to succeed there.”

Access the full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/magazine/who-gets-to-graduate.html?_r=2

Staying in College Longer Than Four Years Costs More Than You Might Think

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publication of interest for higher education professionals. The article summary is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (September 2014 edition).

Staying in College Longer Than Four Years Costs More Than You Might Think (Teri Lyn Hinds)

This second in a series of blog posts by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Liberty Street Economics examines the costs of taking longer than four years to graduate with a baccalaureate degree. Taking tuition and fees (not room and board, as those would need to be purchased regardless of enrollment in college) as well as the opportunity cost of forgone earnings, the post projects the net present value lost by an additional year or two in college over the course of a lifetime of expected earnings.

From the article:

All in all, an extra year of staying in school costs more than $85,000, and for those who take two extra years to finish, it costs about $174,000. The net present value of these totals, using a 5 percent discount rate, yields a cost of about $65,000 for each additional year spent in school.

June Article of Interest for Higher Education Professionals: Financial Aid

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publication of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the title to access the full article. This article summary is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (June 2014 edition).

Campus-Based Practices for Promoting Student Success: Financial Aid (Teri Lyn Hinds)

In the research brief Campus-Based Practices for Promoting Student Success: Financial Aid, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) explores the differential effects of institutional grant aid and work-study programs on students, paying particular attention to how low-income students may be effected by both. The brief concludes with a set of recommended practices.

Recommended Practices include:

• Minimize the use of loans in financial aid packages.

• Target students with high financial need to maximize the effect of grant aid.

• Consider front-loading grant aid during the first half of the college program.

• Ensure that aid packages do not inadvertently force students to work more than 15 hours per week.

• Provide aid during intersessions (e.g., winter, summer, J-term, May term) to promote continuous enrollment.

• Provide sites for high-value work-study experiences that inform academic coursework, promote civic service, build social capital, and foster work skills and achievements relevant to vocational aspirations.

• Ensure that work-study programs provide a living wage.

 

March Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals: Focus on Learning Outcomes

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publication of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the title to access the full article. This article summary is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (March 2014 edition).

Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in U.S. Colleges and Universities (Zhao Yang)

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment report, Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in U.S. Colleges and Universities, presents findings from a spring 2013 survey of academic officers on assessment activities. The survey results indicate significantly more assessment activity than a few years ago, and the range of tools and measures to assess student learning has expanded significantly – with 84 percent of the respondents reporting they had common learning goals for all their students.

January 2014 Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the titles to access the full articles. These article summaries are credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (January 2014 edition).

The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2013: First Generation Students (Melodie Christal)

In The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2013: First Generation Students, ACT and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) provide information to gain a greater understanding of first-generation students. Nearly 94 percent of ACT-tested first-generation students aspired to earn some form of postsecondary degree, and two out of three took ACT’s recommended core curriculum of four years of English and three years each of math, science, and social studies. Despite this preparation, first-generation students lag behind their peers in college readiness, and ACT and COE advocate for more effective policies to promote college readiness for these students.

Managing Online Education 2013: Practices in Ensuring Quality (Zhao Yang)

Managing Online Education 2013: Practices in Ensuring Quality presents results from a survey conducted by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) in spring 2013. The survey collects data on the instructional, operational, and technology infrastructure of online programs in higher education. Key findings include: (1) institutions are adopting standards in their online courses with more than 85 percent of responding institutions implementing some form of “standards” or “best practices;” (2) more than half of institutions (58 percent) require new online faculty to participate in faculty development prior to teaching their first online courses; (3) the vast majority of institutions offer library services and advising to online students; and (4) course completion rates for online courses are 3 percent lower than for on-campus courses (78 percent vs. 81 percent).

How College Shapes Lives: Understanding the Issues (Zhao Yang)

The College Board report, How College Shapes Lives: Understanding the Issues, discusses ways in which the value of postsecondary education can be measured and provides insights into debates about the value of college and the need to improve education attainment in the United States. The report also includes essays by five eminent scholars on issues relating to the benefits of higher education and how to improve the distribution of those benefits.

2013 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness (Melodie Christal)

In 2013 SAT Report on College and Career Readiness, the College Board reports only 43 percent of 2013 high school graduates taking the SAT were academically prepared for college-level course work. This number has not changed in five years. Studies show students who meet the SAT College and Career Readiness benchmark are more likely to enroll in a four-year college and more likely to persist and complete their degree. The 2013 high school graduates who met the SAT benchmark had several academic characteristics in common. They were: (1) more likely to have completed a core curriculum (four or more years of English and three or more years each of mathematics, natural science, and social science or history); (2) more likely to have taken honors or AP courses; and (3) more likely to be ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

September Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professional

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The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on the titles to access the full articles. These article summaries are credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (September 2013 edition).

How Americans Pay for College (Katie Zaback)

In How Americans Pay for College, Sally Mae details the findings of its sixth annual survey of students and parents that examines the amount students and their parents pay for college, funding sources, and attitude toward college and funding college. This year’s results show students and parents becoming more cost sensitive in their college selection, often removing colleges from their set of choices due to cost.

VA Education Benefits: Student Characteristics and Outcomes Vary across Schools (Zhao Yang)

The U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, VA Education Benefits: Student Characteristics and Outcomes Vary across Schools, summarizes results from a review of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education programs. The 2008 Post-9/11 GI Bill significantly increased education benefits for veterans providing for tuition and fees, housing expenses, and books such that in FY2012, about $11 billion in education payments were made to almost 1 million veterans. In its review, GAO analyzed the distribution of VA education payments among schools; how student characteristics and outcomes at highly VA-funded schools compare to those at other VA-funded schools; and how student characteristics and outcomes compare at highly VA-funded public, nonprofit, and for-profit schools.