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September 14, 2021

As War Ends, Let’s Ensure Veterans Have Access to Higher Education

The similarities between the helicopters that left Saigon and the scenes last month at the Kabul airport are painful. For whatever reasons, we have not learned to retreat safely for our citizens and allies. We have failed in our obligations and commitments to those Afghans who most importantly assisted and protected our young men and women who we sent in harm’s way.  There is another lesson from Vietnam that I hope we have learned, even if…
March 13, 2020

COVID-19 and American Higher Education

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to many colleges and universities moving to remote courses for an indefinite period, including in many cases for the rest of the spring semester. Many residential colleges are sending students home, advising them to assume classes on campus will not resume this spring, but instead will continue online. Colleges and universities with more commuter students have also moved to remote learning.  CUNY and SUNY college students were informed by New York State Governor…
October 15, 2019

Prisons, the Higher Ed Market, and Second Chance Pell

Both houses of Congress are debating a set of bills to update portions of the Higher Education Act, the key federal postsecondary education law. The long-overdue refresh has been held up by disagreements over levels of funding, accountability, and how to handle sex discrimination under Title IX, among other issues.  Whenever the HEA finally does come up for reauthorization, the move to restore Pell grants to the incarcerated is expected to make the final draft. Legislators who care about improving…
May 30, 2019

Mass Incarceration, Second Chance Pell, and the State of Postsecondary Education in Prison

Last week, the US Department of Education announced an expansion of its 2015 experimental initiative that provides federal Pell Funding to eligible incarcerated students. The announcement builds off other 2019 bipartisan policy initiatives — at both the federal and state levels — that aim to increase postsecondary access for the 1.5 million of adults currently held in American prisons. Given that reentry statistics suggest more than 95 percent of incarcerated adults will eventually be released, and…
May 15, 2019

What Can We Learn from Publicly Available Data on College Students’ Income Distribution?

In January 2017 researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project—now called Opportunity Insights—released detailed data on the financial circumstances of undergraduate students at each of the vast majority of American colleges and universities. Covering students born between 1980 and 1991, and relying on tax records held by the Internal Revenue Service, the publicly available Opportunity Insights data provided a nuanced look at the family income distribution as well as subsequent earnings of a generation of college-goers. The Opportunity Insights dataset…