Skip to Main Content

Topic: Access to higher education

Blog Post
February 22, 2024

Providing Credit Transfer Visibility to Improve Credit Mobility

Ithaka S+R’s “Universal Credit Transfer Explorer” Launching in Three States in 2024

To help address the many challenges college students face when they move between institutions or attempt to transfer credits they have earned in high school or elsewhere, Ithaka S+R is launching a new, public, non-profit, national credit mobility website. This “universal credit transfer explorer” will go live later this year with data from an inaugural set of institutions across three states, thanks to collaborations with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, the South Carolina Commission on Higher…
Blog Post
February 14, 2024

From the Ground Up

Developing Robust Student Success Programming to Boost Statewide Credential Attainment

Like many states, Texas is seeking to increase the share of adults with postsecondary degrees and credentials. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)’s Building a Talent Strong Texas strategic plan lays out the state’s ambitious goal: by 2030, 60 percent of Texans ages 25-65 will hold a credential of value. To meet this target, the state has activated and engaged institutions, agencies, and advocates across the state (and nationally) to address the highly-varied educational needs of Texas…
Case Study
February 14, 2024

Texas Student Success Programs Poised for Impact

Highlighting High Potential

Introduction Each student enters college with their own unique set of goals, lived experiences, challenges, and hopes. Postsecondary institutions are challenged to build robust student supports that help these students each achieve their own version of success. This requires developing supports that work for a wide variety of target populations, such as for traditional-aged students entering college directly after high school as well as for returning adults seeking to build on credits they earned elsewhere a decade ago. In Texas,…
Blog Post
February 12, 2024

From Awareness to Action

Addressing Basic Needs Insecurity on Campus

The latest federal data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) highlights some of the critical challenges students face outside of the classroom when it comes to basic needs: roughly one in five undergraduate students (23 percent) and one in 10 graduate students (12 percent) are experiencing food insecurity, while 8 percent of undergraduate students and 5 percent of graduate students are experiencing homelessness. For millions of students, the struggle to…
Upcoming Event
March 5, 2024

Shark Tank: Edu Edition

SXSW EDU 2024 Session

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s ninth annual pitch-a-thon pays homage to the TV show, but with a twist. The panel of experts bring a mix of viewpoints—from a journalist, a college-president-turned-equity expert, and an entrepreneur—weighing in on transformative ideas from contestants representing new companies, nonprofits, and big dreamers for improving the college experience. Panelists include Goldie Blumenstyk (The Chronicle of Higher Education), Catharine Bond Hill (Ithaka S+R), and Paul Freedman (Guild Education). Learn more about the panel, on…
Upcoming Event
March 5, 2024

Empowering Incarcerated Learners through Technology Solution

SXSW EDU 2024 Session

The reintroduction of Pell Grants to incarcerated learners and recent spread of technology-supported learning call us to explore how tech supports higher education in prison (HEP) programs. While tech has power and potential to help HEP learners succeed, it must be used carefully. On March 5 at 2:30-3:30pm CT, a SXSW EDU panel featuring Ithaka S+R Managing Director Catharine Bond Hill will explore the HEP tech landscape, which is largely shaped by state-level policies. It spotlights two organizations: one…
Blog Post
January 18, 2024

Understanding ROI on Postsecondary Education

Using Data to Support Strategic State Investments

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) recently shared findings from their annual survey, shedding light on the top ten policy priorities among the public executives in each state responsible for overseeing postsecondary education. Topping the list were three key areas: (1) supporting workforce and economic development, (2) ensuring adequate funding for public colleges and universities, and (3) addressing the growing concern among students and the public regarding the value of a college degree. States need better data…
Blog Post
December 20, 2023

Keep It Simple: Previewing Changes to FAFSA

In December 2020, policymakers passed the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act to address barriers to higher education related to federal student financial aid or Title IV aid—named in reference to Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the landmark legislation that in part sought to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education. Key benefits of FAFSA simplification are a streamlined application process, removal of barriers for…
Past Event
February 22, 2024

ACT Community of Practice: Collaboratively Designing a System-wide Student Transfer Tool

National Institute for Transfer Student Success Annual Conference

At the National Institute for Transfer Student Success Annual Conference, this session will spotlight how the ACT Community of Practice has been vital in the development, enhancement and implementation of CUNY Transfer Explorer. Presenters Pooja Patel, Emily Tichenor, Rocio Rayo, and Tracy Newton will give a brief background of the Community of Practice’s inception and discuss how the model has fostered collaboration across colleges within CUNY and across systems between CUNY and SUNY. Examples of activities, discussions, and contributions…
Upcoming Event
March 7, 2024

Serving Those Who’ve Served: Enrolling & Graduating Veterans

SXSW EDU 2024 Session

Veterans are significantly underrepresented at the colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates, despite being well-qualified to attend. The benefit of a bachelor’s degree for the student is clear, but for these institutions, enrolling veterans also provides numerous benefits, including the opportunity to increase diversity, expand the enrollment pipeline, and receive federal financial assistance from GI Bill funds. This session at SXSW EDU 2024 will highlight best practices, from both the administrator and student perspective, for enrolling, supporting,…
Past Event
February 21, 2024

The Enormous Benefits of Credit Mobility Transparency: CUNY Transfer Explorer as a National Model

National Institute for Transfer Student Success Annual Conference

Having faculty work together to articulate courses and programs across institutions is notorious for taking years to complete, if it completes at all. In a session at the National Institute for Transfer Student Success Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, Ithaka S+R’s Martin Kurzweil will join Lexa Logue and David Wutchiett to describe an alternative approach for facilitating student transfer consisting of obtaining high-quality credit transfer information and then making it public, enabling students intending to transfer and those persons…
Blog Post
November 29, 2023

Reflections on the 2023 National Conference on Higher Education in Prisons (NCHEP)

With the restoration of Pell grants for incarcerated students on July 1, the 13th annual National Conference on Higher Education in Prisons (NCHEP), held November 9-11 in Atlanta, marked a turning point in the evolution and growth of the field. This NCHEP was the largest ever, selling out registration weeks in advance and with a record number of first-time attendees, including librarians and representatives from departments of corrections. Most notably, in keeping with the conference theme of “Closing the Gap,”…
Blog Post
November 14, 2023

College Admissions After Affirmative Action

Catherine Bond Hill on “The Close”

Last week, Catharine Bond Hill, Ithaka S+R’s managing director, sat down with Bloomberg News’ Scarlet Fu on “The Close” to talk about the shifting landscape of college admissions at highly selective institutions in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. In the clip below, Cappy discusses strategies college and universities can take to increase diversity on campus, including increasing need-based aid, revisiting admissions policies that privilege high-income students, and recruiting veterans. Further reading Alternative Strategies to…
Blog Post
November 10, 2023

What’s Next? Ideas for Future Exploration in Student Veteran Access and Success

This October, we embarked on a blog series focusing on the experiences of student veterans in higher education, sharing takeaways from our conversations with eight campus-based programs and non-profit organizations that support student veterans’ college success alongside the latest enrollment data. Those conversations provided insights into many best practices that institutions can employ to recruit, enroll, and graduate veteran students, while also introducing new questions and ideas for future work. In this installment, we identify…
Blog Post
November 9, 2023

Who Has Stranded Credits?

Insights from a New Ithaka S+R Survey

In August 2022, the Ohio College Comeback Compact (“Ohio Compact” or “Compact”) was launched to offer a pathway to re-enrollment for stopped-out college students with stranded credits in the Northeast Ohio region. The Compact allows stopped-out students to return to any of the eight participating public colleges and universities despite owing institutional debt and having their transcript withheld. Through the Compact, students are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in debt forgiveness and a release of their transcript…
Research Report
November 9, 2023

Institutional Supports for Students with Stranded Credits

Survey Results from the Ohio College Comeback Compact

As of 2023, 43.6 million borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. The burden of debt negatively impacts borrowers' ability to provide for their families, purchase a car, or buy a home. However, there is another, often overlooked, institutional debt that students may owe their former institutions after stopping out. It is estimated that 6.6 million students owe $15 billion in unpaid balances to their institutions.
Past Event
November 30, 2023

Comprehensive Recruitment and Transfer Advising Tools for Student Success

Promoting Transfer Equity and Transparency in Higher Education

At the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association Downstate Meeting, Ithaka S+R’s Emily Tichenor will join Nechelle Calhoun, Lexa Logue, and Chris Buonocore in a panel on recruitment and transfer advising tools for student success. The session will include a presentation on the Ithaka S+R Articulation of Transfer Credit (ACT) project as well as a demo of CUNY T-Rex Transfer Explorer and Universal Transfer Explorer. The panel is scheduled for November 30 at 10am ET.
Blog Post
November 3, 2023

Revisiting Student Success

Insights from the 2023 NISOD Fall Virtual Conference

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) hosts an annual fall virtual conference to bring together faculty, librarians, and student support services personnel to exchange best practices aimed at enhancing student success in community and technical colleges. The conference schedule focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, holistic student supports, and teaching across different modalities. Sessions highlighted insights from faculty and staff across different departments on how to improve students’ educational experiences and equip them for success…
Blog Post
November 1, 2023

The Importance of Student Veteran Belonging

Over the past summer, we spoke with institutional and organizational leaders committed to supporting student veterans in higher education, and in every conversation, we heard about the importance of belonging to student veteran success. Many of these administrators and leaders observed that today’s student veterans are not who most faculty members, administrators, and other students think they are. For more than a decade, the image of the typical student veteran was shaped by the public image of combatants returning…
Blog Post
October 31, 2023

Aligning the Conversation on Technology Use for Education Programs in Prisons and Jails

A Collaborative Update and Call to Action for the Education in Prisons and Jails Research Community Given recent policy changes and expanded access to postsecondary education, technology options for education programs in prisons and jails are increasing at all levels. Education technology vendors are responding to these changes with new platforms, instructional content, and devices that can be used to support education programming inside facilities. At the same time, there is a growing need for research on the use of…