higher ed

Ivy-Plus Schools could be perpetuating economic inequality

Less than half of one percent of Americans attend Ivy-Plus colleges, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Yet these twelve colleges account for more than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs, a quarter of U.S. Senators, half of all Rhodes scholars, and three-fourths of Supreme Court justices appointed in the last half-century.

Has the U.S. lost its luster in the eyes of international students?

The United States has been the top destination for those looking to study abroad for decades. Before the onset of the pandemic, over a million students flocked from abroad to attend U.S.-based universities. Now, having dropped by 15% at the onset of the pandemic, international student enrollment is beginning to recover. Despite this recovery, the U.S. is losing market share to countries like Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom resulting in negative economic consequences.

Supreme Court rules against Affirmative Action

Today, the Supreme Court ended Affirmative Action on college campuses. The syllabus (headnote) to the decision stated: “Because Harvard's and UNC's admissions programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping, and lack meaningful end points, those admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the Equal Protection Clause.”

Institutions with limited federal funding have new access to R&D programs

Despite Carnegie Classification as an R2 institution, Northern Illinois University (NIU) and other similar universities do not qualify for existing R&D capacity-building initiatives targeting Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) states or minority-serving institutions (MSIs). In a recent article, Northern Illinois University administrators defended the necessity for a new designation for federal agencies to use to prioritize R&D funding for institutions such as NIU.

Indiana passes new legislation impacting college affordability and military tax exemptions

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed three bills that have the potential to impact the workforce in the state. Two bills address college affordability while the third exempts active-duty military from paying individual state income tax. House Bill 1449 will automatically enroll eligible students in a state program that offers 100% tuition coverage at public colleges, and Senate Bill 167 mandates high school students to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to increase students applying for financial aid. Meanwhile, House Bill 1034, now signed into law, exempts active-duty military from paying individual income taxes starting with fiscal year 2024.

Students pursue greater number of funding sources for higher ed

A recent study published in the Journal of Higher Education reveals that a college graduate’s mix of funding sources may reflect when they were born and how likely they were to obtain a graduate degree. A look at three cohorts of college graduates, those born in 1953-1962, 1963-1972, and 1973-1982 showed that the proportion of students who utilized one or two sources to fund their education decreased, while those who used three or more increased. Additionally, those in the most recent cohort who used more sources were found to be less likely to obtain a graduate degree compared to those who were fully funded by their families.

The value of higher education: examining shifting perceptions including new polling from Michigan

What is the value of a college degree today? While tuition costs continue to rise, opinions on the perceived value of the degrees institutions of higher education provide are falling. This sentiment, as highlighted in recent reports from New America and Gallup, demonstrates the need to re-examine the role of postsecondary education in shaping successful career pathways and the challenges individuals face while navigating an ever-evolving labor market.

Useful Stats: 10-year analysis of NSF EPSCoR state HERD, FY 2012-2021

The objective of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is to help states receiving the least amount of federal research and development (R&D) funds within their postsecondary institutions improve their competitiveness for federal grants and awards. A measure of EPSCoR's effectiveness, then, is whether or not the state's academic research enterprise is capturing a larger share of federal R&D expenditures. This article utilizes data from the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, analyzing the total and federal HERD dollars for the 25 current EPSCoR eligible states compared to those not eligible, finding: 1) EPSCoR states are not receiving proportionately more federal HERD dollars and 2) EPSCoR states have an extremely large variation of total HERD dollars between states, inclusive of both the highest grossing states as well as all three states experiencing a decrease.

Useful Stats: State-level higher education R&D trends

Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 saw higher education research and development (R&D) spending increase by a total of $3.43 billion (3.97%) over the prior year — a higher rate of growth than the 10-year average of +3.53% per year — and $23.99 billion (36.51%) over the past 10-years. Using data from the most recent release of the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, this article will analyze state-level trends on higher education R&D expenditures, revealing the aforementioned increased expenditures, although strong, are barely keeping pace with the nation’s overall economic growth.

NSF announces new $60 million program for academic institutions to scale the translation of research

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced a new $60 million investment led by NSF's Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships — the Accelerating Research Translation, or ART, program. The program will build capacity and infrastructure at higher education institutions that are needed to strengthen and scale the translation of basic research outcomes into impactful solutions and practice.


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