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Entries in On Campus by Jon Marcus

What you know determines where you go, according to a new book that sets out to determine why the smartest low-income students forgo the most selective colleges.

It’s not that poor kids aren’t as smart as rich ones, researcher Alexandra Walton Radford finds. Nor do top schools turn them down. In fact, she reports, low-income prospects have a big advantage in the admissions process at the most selective colleges.

The problem is that few of them apply, thanks to high school counselors and peers who know little about the admissions process, and parents who often know even less.

After barely more than a year in business, opposite-coast rivals edX and Coursera have become two of the biggest higher-education organizations in the world, with a combined six million registered users drawn to the online teaching they provide.

But the honeymoon may be coming to an end.

When the people with some of the greatest clout over the future of America’s universities and colleges convene in Austin, Texas, they’re not likely to attract very much attention.

They’re not athletics coaches, high-profile presidents, or marquee faculty who publish influential books. They’re not congressmen or legislators. They’re not rich donors or alumni.

They’re the representatives of philanthropic foundations, whose money — combined with the relative inertia of government and the higher-education establishment itself — has made them huge players in setting policy for the institutions that graduate the nation’s future workers and leaders.

He may be the leader of the free world, but when President Barack Obama proposed that the government grade universities based on their cost and success rates, a lot of other people were ahead of him.

At a time when students and their families are demanding to know what they’re getting for their mounting investments in higher education, several foundations and research centers are already working on new ways to show them.

Graduates of elite colleges and universities don’t necessarily make more money than their counterparts at less well-known schools, according to new research.

Using the first-year earnings of graduates of colleges and universities in five states, the study found that those from regional and second-tier campuses, on average, earn about the same as those who go to prestigious flagship universities.

Private, for-profit colleges have joined the march of institutions that appear to be lowering their tuition as enrollment flattens out and families become increasingly price conscious.

The average tuition paid by students at four-year, for-profit colleges, when adjusted for inflation, fell from $16,268 in the 2006-2007 academic year to $13,819 in 2011-2012, the independent think tank Education Sector reports, citing data from the U.S. Department of Education.

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