A new for-profit program charges no tuition — until graduates find a job, reports ABC News/Yahoo. App Academy offers an intensive nine-week course in software coding to students in New York City and San Francisco.
“Our goal is to place students as software engineers,” said Kush Patel, one of App Academy’s co-founders. “We don’t care so much if they can do graph theory or algorithms or other obscure kinds of CS topics. We want to give them real-world skills they can use and actually get them a job.”
Students pay nothing till they graduate and find a job. App Academy gets 15 percent of their first year’s salary, an average of $12,000 per graduate. Graduates who aren’t hired within a year pay nothing. So far, 93 percent of App Academy graduates have received job offers, according to Patel. The average starting pay is $83,000.
App Academy accepts less than 10 percent of applicants. Students must be faster learners, excellent problem solvers and willing to work 80 to 90 hours a week in the lab. They don’t need a technical background. “Some of our most successful students in the class have been a yoga instructor and a rug salesman,” Patel said.
College tuition and fees have risen by 893 percent since 1980, nearly five times the 179 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index, reports the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. That’s almost twice the increase in medical costs. Many colleges and universities plan tuition hikes for fall 2013.
With a budget deficit made worse by student abuse of Pell Grants, Henry Ford Community College (Michigan) will raise tuition by 7 percent, reports the Press and Guide. The college will have to pay back $9.5 million in federal dollars — about 20 percent of tuition revenue — because many Pell recipients dropped out or failed all their classes after collecting up to $5,550 in student aid.
Collecting from “Pell runners” — students who stop attending once they get their grant money — rarely is successful, President Gail Mee said after the board meeting.
Trustee Aimee Schoelles asked if the college could see if the students have unpaid tuition bills from other colleges — a sign they are milking the system at one school and then moving to the next.
Mee said a federal registry tracks students who misuse their loans, but the data is too old to be useful.
Schoelles also suggested looking at class data to see where students drop or never attend and then overenrolling those courses so when students withdraw or never show the class is still closer to full.
Looking only at first-time, degree-seeking students, HFCC has the lowest graduation rate — 9 percent — of Michigan’s 18 community colleges; a third of students transfer before earning a degree.
Thirty states will spend more on high er education in the current fiscal year, but overall state spending is down 0.4 percent, according to an annual survey by Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers. Since fiscal 2008, state higher education spending has declined nearly 11 percent.
New Mexico will spend a measly 0.1 percent percent more: energy-rich Wyoming will boost spending by nearly 14 percent. But Florida will cut higher ed spending by 8 percent.
In California, where state money for colleges fell nearly 6 percent from the year before, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has proposed increasing state funds for the public-college systems by 4 percent to 6 percent in the coming fiscal year. As in many other states, that proposal came with the expectation that state colleges will keep tuition flat and increase their efficiency in producing graduates.
During the past five years, more than a dozen states have cut college funding by more than 20 percent. Arizona (37 percent) and New Hampshire (36 percent) have cut the most.
“Barring a further downturn in the economy, the relatively small overall change … suggests that higher education may be at the beginning stages of a climb out of the fiscal trough caused by the last recession,” says a news release accompanying the survey data.
However, a new report from Moody’s Investors Services predicts tough times for higher education with stagnant state funding, student resistance to tuition increases and a declining number of high school graduates.
With enrollment plummeting, Dawson Community College in Montana’s oil and gas belt is offering free tuition to “dual enrollment” high school students and to former students who are close to a degree, reports AP.
Dawson’s enrollment dropped 22 percent from fall 2011 to 2012; the college is down to about 259 students. At Miles Community College, enrollment fell by 9 percent to 368 students.
The Bakken oil boom is partially to blame, said DCC President James Cargill. Students who graduate from high school may be lured to higher-paying jobs in the oil fields rather than going to college.
. . . The college also is struggling to find instructors for technical programs such as diesel and gas mechanics and welding technology because people with those skills can make more money in the oil fields.
Tuition waivers will go to high school students taking college classes in the Early Start program. Under Finish Line, adults who’ve dropped out three or more year ago can take up to 10 credits tuition free.
Miles Community College is stressing training in oil, pipeline and coal jobs, such as heavy equipment operation and construction. Students also can train for high-demand jobs in computer technology and auto mechanics and for health careers such as phlebotomy, pharmacy technician and medical lab technician.
Flush with money because of the oil boom, North Dakota is spending more on higher education.
College enrollment growth is slowing, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report. The center projects 15 percent growth between 2010 and 2021, down sharply from the 46 percent increase between 1996 and 2010. By 2021-22, there will be a 21 percent increased in both associate and bachelor’s degrees the report projects, a 34 percent rise in master’s and a 24 percent boost in PhDs.
Nearly half of colleges and universities expect enrollment declines, according to a survey by Moody’s Investors Service. A third of the schools project a decline in tuition revenue.
“The cumulative effects of years of depressed family income and net worth, as well as uncertain job prospects for many recent graduates” mean students aren’t willing to pay high tuition at non-elite colleges, said Emily Schwarz, lead author of the report.
Veterans are having trouble using the GI Bill at state schools, if they’ve moved frequently, reports AP. New rules that took effect in August say vets can collect up to $17,500 a year at private colleges but only the cost of in-state tuition at public institutions. That makes state residency an issue.
A Missouri native, Justin Curley was a medic in the Air Force. He left the service in 2009, settled in New Orleans and applied to the nursing program at Delgado Community College. Denied in-state status, he borrowed $3,000 a year to pay out-of-state tuition. But a friend persuaded him to protest.
“Essentially, because I constantly moved with the Air Force, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is taking away the veterans benefits I rightfully earned in favor of unwritten policies that are left up to the discretion and judgment of the board and chancellor,” he wrote. “To me, that says I’m a resident of nowhere. All because of my service.”
In October, Curley met with newly installed Chancellor Monty Sullivan. Not only did Sullivan grant Curley the in-state rate, he refunded his money back to fall 2011.
The graduation rates of veterans using the GI Bill will be reported publicly, announced Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“The best measurements of success are completion rates,” Mr. Shinseki told a crowd of several hundred student veterans. “Degrees, certificates of completion, certifications, licensing—that to me is how you measure. Not who goes in the front door, but who completes the program.”
In the fall-2012 semester, 480,000 students were enrolled under the GI Bill, Shinseki said. The department will work with the National Student Clearinghouse to track graduation rates, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Student Veterans of America, which has 700 campus chapters around the country, brokered the agreement.
Recent graduates with a technical or vocational associate degree average higher earnings than four-year graduates in three states analyzed by CollegeMeasures. In Virginia, the average technical associate degree graduate earned $49,000 a year between 2006 and 2010.
Community college degrees “are worth a lot more than I expected and that I think other people expected,” said Mark Schneider, president of CollegeMeasures and a vice president at the American Institutes for Research.
The job news gets even better for two-year graduates, reports Forbes.
This on the heels of stats from the Department of Labor from the fall that showed job growth for those with associate’s degrees was outpacing that of more advanced degree holders. The good news doesn’t stop there; the majority of the fastest growing occupations in the US, from dental hygienists to veterinary technologists, require only a community college education.
In 2010 – 2011, the average community college student paid $2713 in tuition and received, on average, $1700 in Pell Grant aid, Forbes notes. Most community college students don’t borrow to complete an associate degree and those who do don’t need to go heavily in debt.
Community colleges “took the greatest hit” in 2010 as higher education struggled to recover from recession, concludes the Delta Cost Project in College Spending in a Turbulent Decade.
All colleges and universities are trying to serve more students with less money, the report found. “As funding failed to keep pace with historic increases in enrollment, educational spending per student plummeted to its lowest level in a decade.”
Community colleges suffered the greatest financial hardships.
Historic enrollment increases, combined with sharp losses in per-student revenues from state appropriations and meager increases in net tuition revenue, resulted in significant cuts to academic spending per full-time equivalent (FTE) student. Community colleges concluded the decade spending less per student than they had ten years earlier.
State universities were able to preserve spending on instruction and student services, while private four-year institutions implemented widespread cuts, the report found. Although students covered a larger portion of educational costs, sharp tuition increases were not enough to offset lost revenues.
Funding for community colleges continued to fall further behind other public institutions. . . They were the only public institutions at which average total operating revenues per FTE student declined in 2010 and also were lower than a decade earlier. Community colleges suffered the deepest cuts in state and local appropriations per student in 2010, with funding reduced by approximately $1,000 per student; however, they also limited the new money coming from net tuition revenue more than did other types of public institutions.
Efforts to keep community colleges accessible and affordable while accommodating more than 40 percent of new higher education students—often the most economically or academically disadvantaged—have significantly eroded the resources they have to devote to each student.
The growth in less costly, shorter-term certificate programs cut the cost of completion in community colleges from 2000 to 2010.
Community colleges are losing students to high-cost for-profit competitors. Now Ozarks Technical Community College in Missouri is fighting back with an ad campaign that compares its tuition to its competitors, reports Inside Higher Ed.
A TV commercial the college unveiled last week compares the $3,300 annual cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies at Ozarks to $32,000 at Bryan College, a small Christian for-profit, $18,000 at ITT Tech and roughly $14,000 at Everest College and Vatterott College.
“When looking at the costs, there is no comparison,” a voiceover says during the commercial. “The numbers speak for themselves.”
With rapidly growing enrollment, Ozarks is struggling to meet demand and has turned away allied health and technical students, Inside Higher Ed reports. While chancellor Hal Higdon says his college isn’t losing enrollment to the for-profits, he wants students to be “smart consumers.”
For-profit dropouts who enroll at Ozarks bring along their debts for federal reporting purposes, which raises the colleges loan default rates.