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Topic: Higher education costs

Blog Post
July 17, 2020

Testing, Tracing, and Supported Isolation

A Synthesis of 57 Fall 2020 College Reopening Plans

Last month, Ithaka S+R launched an effort to aggregate and synthesize information related to the fall reopening of colleges and universities to facilitate institutional collaboration and planning. As of July 13th, we have synthesized 57 institutional plans into a single resource (click here to view), and plan to continually update this resource with new and evolving information. We are publishing the findings from our review of these plans in a series of blog posts hosted on our…
Blog Post
June 5, 2020

A New Resource to Help CUNY Students Transfer Smarter

When students transfer from one college to another they frequently are unable to count their previously earned credits toward degree requirements at their new institution, jeopardizing these students’ ability to earn degrees at their new institutions. Nationally, 43 percent of credits are wasted during transfer, and students who lose that many credits are far less likely to graduate than students who are able to transfer most of their credits. The COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate this problem. Due to…
Blog Post
April 17, 2020

State Higher Education Policy is Essential to Economic Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has massively disrupted our health, our society, and our economy. State policymakers are appropriately focused on addressing the most urgent needs of their residents. Soon, though, policy and budget decisions will arise that will affect the economic prosperity of states for years to come. Ensuring the vitality of public higher education must be core to those decisions. Public higher education is very much at risk. In the shorter-term, many public colleges and universities will face severe declines…
Blog Post
April 10, 2020

Planning for the Recovery: Advice from a Former College President

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a sudden stall on social and economic activities throughout the world, dramatically changing our lives in just a matter of a few weeks, and increasingly raising concerns about a possible years-long recession. Now entering a month into what is becoming an ever more routine reality of teaching, learning, and working from home, colleges and universities are beginning to transition from the emergent need to preserve health and safety…
Blog Post
April 3, 2020

Federal Relief Opportunities for Small Colleges and Universities

Update April 10, 2020:  Since launching its relief programs on April 3, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has clarified that students employed by the institution should be counted as employees when determining eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (discussed below). As a result, many small colleges and universities may now exceed the 500-employee maximum and will no longer qualify for assistance through these programs. An institution with more than 500 employees may still be eligible…
Past Event
April 21, 2020

Examining the Effects of Performance-Based Funding on Efficiency of Degree Production

James Dean Ward at the AERA Annual Conference

The AERA is moving to a virtual conference. When we have details we will update this event. On Tuesday, April 21, James Dean Ward will be presenting on “Examining the Effects of Performance-Based Funding on Efficiency of Degree Production” at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference in San Francisco. His talk is part of a session on “The Carrots, Sticks, and Unintended Consequences of State Higher Education Policy,” taking place at 12:25. The session is being held in…
Issue Brief
December 12, 2019

Expanding Pathways to College Enrollment and Degree Attainment

Policies and Reforms for a Diverse Population

For states to increase access to and attainment of higher education, they must implement policies and reforms that support learners who have not traditionally been well-served by higher education. By 2020, the United States is projected to have a shortage of five million workers with the adequate postsecondary education to fulfill workforce needs. States have a vested interest in and obligation to create multiple pathways to college enrollment and credential attainment that fit the needs of their diverse populations, not…
Past Event
October 22, 2019

Colette Johnson Presents at Columbia University Workshop

PhD Pathways; Careers Outside of Academia

On Wednesday, October 22, Colette Johnson is presenting on “PhD Pathways; Careers Outside of Academia” at Columbia University. Colette will be joined by representatives from Google, Jane Street, Blue Matter Consulting, Cubist (Point 72), and Dun & Bradstreet. Registration is now open for Columbia PhD students.
Blog Post
October 16, 2019

Why we are adding a basic needs module to the Ithaka S+R local surveys

Students often struggle with balancing their personal, professional, and academic responsibilities, including affording their most basic needs in conjunction with course expenses. Recognizing this reality, we will be offering a basic needs module for the Ithaka S+R local student surveys starting in spring 2020. In late 2018, colleagues and I worked in partnership with a cohort of community colleges to survey their students about their goals and challenges.
Blog Post
October 2, 2019

An Interview with Dr. Dominique Baker

The Strategic Alignment of State Appropriations, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and an Associate at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Baker is an expert in financial aid policies and student debt, and examines the equity implications of higher education policies. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Baker for sharing her thoughts on the strategic alignment of state higher education finance policies. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. With limited funding, where…
Issue Brief
October 2, 2019

The Strategic Alignment of State Appropriations, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies

In response to the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, states reduced their expenditures on many public services and goods, including substantial cuts to higher education spending. Despite a strong economic recovery since the Great Recession and significant increases in student enrollment, most states’ spending on higher education has not returned to pre-recession levels. Reductions in state spending and rising costs have led a number of public colleges and universities to increase tuition, making college less affordable for many students…
Past Event
September 28, 2019

Untapped Resources: Addressing Stigma & Scarcity

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg at #RealCollege

On Saturday, September 28, from 1:30-2:15, Christine Wolff-Eisenberg is speaking on “Untapped Resources: Addressing Stigma & Scarcity” at the #Real College Convening at the Houston Community College West Houston Institute. For more information and to register, please visit the #Real College website.      …
Blog Post
June 12, 2019

An Interview with Dr. David Tandberg

“North Star” Attainment Goals

David Tandberg is the Vice President for Policy Research and Strategic Initiatives at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). Dr. Tandberg is a leading expert on state higher education policy. He currently leads SHEEO in its work to connect empirical research with state policy to improve higher education opportunities for students. Ithaka S+R graciously thanks Dr. Tandberg for sharing his thoughts regarding state “north star” attainment goals. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. How…
Issue Brief
June 12, 2019

Setting a North Star

Motivations, Implications, and Approaches to State Postsecondary Attainment Goals

Higher education attainment goals can serve as a “north star” to guide states’ postsecondary policies, investments, and agendas. The extent to which state attainment goals lead to substantive improvements in college-going rates, college graduation rates, postsecondary credential attainment rates, and reductions in labor market skills gaps is as yet unclear. Further, the likelihood a state will meet its attainment goals varies by state and depends on contextual factors that are within and outside the purview of the education sector. In…
Past Event
May 21, 2019

Improving Access, Affordability and Success in American Colleges and Universities

Catharine Hill at the Third Biennial Brasenose Undergraduate Access Symposium

On Tuesday, May 21, at 5:30 pm, Catharine Hill is speaking on “Improving Access, Affordability and Success in American Colleges and Universities” at the Third Biennial Brasenose Undergraduate Access Symposium: Access to Higher Education at Oxford and Other Places. More information about this free symposium is available on the Brasenose College website.
Blog Post
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…
Research Report
May 15, 2019

Better Than We Thought

Comparing Publicly Available Data on College Students’ Income Distribution

In this report, we compare and contrast three datasets—IPEDS, CDS, and Opportunity Insights—for various categories of public and private four-year institutions, in the aggregate. We find that, when grouping students who do not receive federal financial aid—whose income is therefore unknown—with students in the top income category, the IPEDS income distribution is very similar to the Opportunity Insights income distribution at this aggregate level. Furthermore, comparing IPEDS data with CDS data provides insights about which students benefit from institutional financial…
Past Event
May 21, 2019

Elevating Student Voices: Advancing Equity Through College Affordability

Martin Kurzweil at IHEP's 2019 National Policy Summit

On Tuesday, May 21, Martin Kurzweil will be participating in IHEP’s 2019 National Policy Summit, “Elevating Student Voices: Advancing Equity Through College Affordability.” The summit will take place in Washington DC. More information about IHEP is available on their website.
Past Event
June 5, 2019

Martin Kurzweil at Eduventures Summit 2019

Martin Kurzweil is taking part in Eduventures Summit 2019 in Boston from June 5-7. For more information, please see the event website. About the summit: The search for a truly new higher education business model must grapple with product, time, cost, and structure and address these important questions: Should most schools buy courses from the best rather than build their own? Could the value of a bachelor’s degree be packaged in 60 credits rather than 120? Could life off-campus…
Issue Brief
April 9, 2019

Challenges to Higher Education’s Most Essential Purposes

In his 2000 Romanes Lecture, entitled “At a Slight Angle to the Universe, the University in a Digitized, Commercialized Age,” William Bowen anticipated many of the challenges higher education faces today. His incisive summary of the most important purposes of higher education offers a useful framework for assessing how higher education is fulfilling its uniquely important role supporting a vibrant democratic society. Those responsible for higher education’s well-being, including presidents, administrators, trustees, faculty, and government policy makers, would do well…