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Topic: Higher education costs

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…
Issue Brief
April 9, 2019

Technology, Georgia Tech, and the Future of Learning

An Interview with Charles Isbell

I invited Charles Isbell, Professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech to join me at the October 2018 Bowen Colloquium, a forward-looking gathering of college and university presidents and other leaders. In addition to his work in Artificial Intelligence, Professor Isbell is the Associate Dean in the College of Computing responsible for overseeing Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS). Our conversation covered a wide area, from the unsustainable costs of traditional modes of instruction to his…
Upcoming Event
May 30, 2019

Access & Affordability: Flipping the Conversation

Martin Kurzweil Speaks at Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges Conference

On Thursday, May 30, Martin Kurzweil is speaking at the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges’ conference, “Access & Affordability: Flipping the Conversation.” This conference, held at Muhlenberg College, is part of LVAIC’s year-long series, “Facing Higher Education’s Future.” For more information about the conference, please see the event website.
Past Event
March 5, 2019

Martin Kurzweil at SXSW EDU

Who Does Online Education Really Serve?

On Tuesday, March 5, Martin Kurzweil is speaking as part of a panel session on “Who Does Online Education Really Serve?” at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. Martin will be joined on the panel by Jill Buban, Chief Academic Officer at Unizen,  Robert Ubell, Vice Dean Emeritus of Online Learning, at New York University, and Jeffrey Young, Senior Editor at EdSurge. The panel will run from 4 – 6:00 pm. For more information and to register, please see the SXSW…
Blog Post
November 15, 2018

What’s the ROI for Instructional Reform?

New Tool Provides Estimates

Last year, Ithaka S+R published Instructional Quality, Student Outcomes, and Institutional Finances, a white paper commissioned by the American Council on Education (ACE) that explored the relationship between institutional finances and instructional quality, asking whether improvements in instructional quality can increase a postsecondary institution’s net revenue. It’s an important question, as many higher education institutions are under strong pressure to improve student learning outcomes as they face increasing financial constraints. The conventional view is that increases in instructional quality…
Blog Post
June 27, 2018

New Research from the American Talent Initiative on Community College Transfer to Top Colleges and Universities

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) just released new research suggesting that, each year, 50,000 high-achieving, low- and moderate-income community college students do not transfer to any four-year institution. Approximately 15,000 of these lower-income students have the academic credentials to be successful at even the most selective colleges and universities, having earned a 3.7 GPA or higher at their community college. ATI’s research demonstrates that enrolling more lower-income freshman is not the only viable strategy for increasing socioeconomic diversity…
Research Report
June 27, 2018

The Talent Blind Spot

The Case for Increasing Community College Transfer to High Graduation Rate Institutions

In addition to expanding access and enhancing educational quality, there is a compelling economic case to be made for increasing transfer students. Specifically, supporting community college transfer pathways may offer four-year colleges a financially sustainable strategy to provide an affordable education to substantially more low- and moderate-income students.
Blog Post
May 22, 2018

Taking a Closer Look at College and University Endowments: New Report

A new report from Sandy Baum, Cappy Hill, and myself, out today, provides an overview of college and university endowments. We seek to inform the public policy debate by exploring how endowments are structured and used, and discussing the extent to which the favorable tax policy for higher education institutions serves the public interest. We find that the distribution of endowment assets is highly skewed across institutions. The median endowment per student for all postsecondary institutions is $12,600, while…
Research Report
May 22, 2018

College and University Endowments

In the Public Interest?

The fact that a handful of colleges and universities control billions of dollars in endowment funds has captured the attention of Congress and the public. Is it in the public interest for these institutions to continue to receive the full exemption from income taxation for the donations to and income from endowments?[1] The passage of the recent federal tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which imposes an excise tax of 1.4 percent on the net investment…
Blog Post
May 8, 2018

Check out Catharine Bond Hill’s Opinion Piece in Inside Higher Ed

Can Higher Ed Change America’s Negative View?

In today’s Inside Higher Ed, Ithaka S+R’s managing director Catharine Bond Hill asks “Can Higher Ed Change America’s Negative View?” In the piece she explores why higher education institutions have lost the public’s trust and sketches out how colleges and universities can regain it.    …
Past Event
May 18, 2018

Catharine Bond Hill at the Education Writers Association National Seminar

Higher Ed Affordability

On Friday, May 18, Cappy Hill will speak on a panel about higher ed affordability at the Education Writers Association National Seminar in Los Angeles. The session runs from 9:00 am – noon. For more details and to register, please visit the EWA website. Session abstract: Deep Dive: Higher Ed Affordability: – You want a story that gets clicks? “Student loans” gets more Google search love than Prince Harry, Paula Abdul or Robert Mueller! Learn everything you need to know…
Blog Post
March 2, 2018

Invest in Talent to Move the Dial on Socioeconomic Diversity on Nation’s College Campuses

Invest in talented young adults, and they will help us solve the world’s problems. That was the charge of Dan Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall College and incoming president of the Aspen Institute, to college and university presidents who gathered February 22-23 in New York City for the American Talent Initiative annual presidential summit. The effort, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and co-led by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, has an ambitious goal: attract, enroll and…
Blog Post
February 28, 2018

Insights from the William G. Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

Last November, we held the inaugural William G. Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership. Named for our late, founding board chair and president emeritus of Princeton University and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the event brought together 50 higher education leaders and experts to discuss several contemporary challenges including diversity and inclusiveness, free speech and student activism, and the role of technology in higher education. Today, Kevin Guthrie, Cappy Hill, and I are publishing three papers…
Research Report
February 28, 2018

Technology in Higher Education

Reflections from the Bowen Colloquium on Higher Education Leadership

“Properly conceived, information technology will enhance, but not replace, traditional modes of teaching and learning. It will also permit the delivery of educational content to a wider variety of others interested in subjects that lend themselves to distance learning – at home and at odd hours.” —William G. Bowen, “At a Slight Angle to the Universe: The University in a Digitized, Commercialized Age,” Romanes Lecture, Oxford University, October 17, 2000.
Past Event
March 7, 2018

Strategies to Help Lower-Income Kids Go To College

Catharine Hill at SXSW EDU

On March 7, Catharine Bond Hill will be joined by Dan Porterfield, president of Franklin & Marshall, and Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, on a panel discussion at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas. The panel will take place in Salon G, Hilton Austin Downtown, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Strategies to Help Lower-Income Kids Go To College Attaining a higher education is more important than ever. By some estimates, the earnings premium for holding a bachelor’s degree…
Past Event
January 30, 2018

What Is the New Normal for Accreditation and What Should It Be?

Martin Kurzweil Speaks at CHEA Annual Conference Plenary Session

On Tuesday, January 30, Martin Kurzweil is speaking at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Annual Conference on “What Is the New Normal for Accreditation and What Should It Be?” Barbara Brittingham, president of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges is moderating the panel which also includes Ed Klonoski, president of Charter Oak State College. This plenary session will run from 10 – 11:00 am. The CHEA Annual Conference is being…
Blog Post
December 20, 2017

Endowment Tax Provision: Counting Students Is No Easy Feat

After the House of Representatives and Senate passed two versions of a GOP bill to overhaul the tax code, a conference committee released a near-final version last Friday that was passed by the House on Tuesday. The Senate then passed a bill with slight tweaks on Wednesday, necessitating a House re-vote. The House is expected to pass the bill midday Wednesday and the President is expected to sign within the coming days. While some of the controversial measures…
Past Event
November 28, 2017

Rayane Alamuddin on Future Trends Forum

On Tuesday, November 28, Rayane Alamuddin and  Robert Kelchen, professor of higher education at Seton Hall University and expert in higher education finance, will join Bryan Alexander for a Future Trends Forum on the recent Higher Ed Insights report. The online forum will run from 2:00 pm -3:00 pm. To receive a link to this free event, please register on the Future Trends Forum site. From Future Trends Forum: In May and June of 2017, the Ithaka S+R…
Blog Post
November 20, 2017

Will Devoting Funds to Excelsior Help Students?

Free tuition at all public institutions in a state sounds great. Such a message could encourage students to attend college who would otherwise think it unaffordable, and/or could help students to stay in college.  However, given the particular policies associated with New York’s Excelsior Scholarship, what the future holds for Excelsior Scholarship recipients may not be all positive. Due to these potential negative consequences, New York State’s funds for this program could be better spent expanding existing services…
Blog Post
November 20, 2017

Re-Thinking the Case for Free College

I’m all about college opportunity and success and love the idea of swinging the doors wide open. At first I was taken aback, to put it mildly, by the notion of “free college,” but my thoughts are evolving. The idea may be worthwhile for what it’s doing to galvanize public attention to higher education finance. Whether it is viable public policy, from a practical political standpoint or a social equity perspective, however, depends on our willingness to look at the…