Higher Education

What to do about dropouts

Lauren Bizzaro owes $40,000 for three years of college. (Caleb Kenna for The Wall Street Journal) College dropouts are the “untouchables” of higher education, writes Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in Forbes. Looking at those 25 to 34 years of age, the median earnings in 2013 were $27,339, about 10 […]

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‘Reverse transfer’ could add 2 million degrees

As many as two million students could earn associate degrees through “reverse transfer,” with help from the National Student Clearinghouse. Using a Lumina grant, the Clearinghouse will design an automated system to identify students who’ve earned enough credits for a two-year degree.  Seventy-eight percent of students who transfer from community college to a four-year institution leave […]

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California: Student aid lags costs

Grants and scholarships haven’t kept pace with rising living costs  for low-income students at California community colleges and the second-tier California State University system, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Students who receive grants and scholarships are more likely to complete a degree, the report finds. At the community colleges and CSU […]

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Tennessee: Certificate holders out-earn 4-year grads

Tennessee workers with associate degrees and long- term certificates often start at higher wages than four-year graduates, according to a new College Measures study. It takes five years for graduates with bachelor’s degrees to catch up. “You don’t need to go to a flagship university to get a good job. There are many successful paths […]

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Second time isn’t the charm

Nearly all college completion data looks at first-time students. Completion rates are low for non-first-time students, reports Inside Track. Only 33.7 percent of returning students completed their degree, compared with 54.1 percent of first-time students. Only 27 percent of non-first-time community college students completed a certificate or degree in eight years, compared to 36 percent […]

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Why graduation rates are misleading

Federal college graduation rates don’t distinguish between certificates and associate degrees, presenting a misleading picture of community colleges and for-profit institutions, writes Ben Miller on EdCentral. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), three-year graduation rates are much higher at for-profit colleges than at community colleges: 63 percent compared to 21 percent. However, […]

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Major decisions: What graduates earn

The average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn $1.19 million over a lifetime, compared to $855,000 for an associate degree holder and $580,000 for a worker with only a high school degree, estimates The Hamilton Project.  But the choice of a college major makes a huge difference in earnings. Overall, more-educated people earn […]

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In MIT’s MOOC, everyone learned

MOOCs — massive open online courses — work only for the well-educated, many believe. But a new study finds that MOOC participants learned as much or more than traditional students in a MIT physics class. There was no evidence that less-capable students learned less, wrote researchers in a paper published in the International Review of Research […]

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More graduates are working less

Recent college graduates are having trouble finding jobs in this economy, reports Reason‘s Hit& Run.

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Career-minded students seek competency degrees

Career-minded adults are turning to “competency-based” degrees, reports U.S. News.  Online programs that award credits for mastery of skills and knowledge can provide a faster, cheaper route to a degree. President Barack Obama is a fan of the idea. “If you’re learning the material faster, you can finish faster,” he said in a speech last […]

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