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Archive for the ‘postsecondary’ Category

Explainer: Federal student loan interest rates to jump

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Explainer: Federal student loan interest rates to jump
Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Right now, many students and families across the country are receiving financial aid offers and deciding how to pay for college. Most students will need to shop for student loans now, and some of you have asked us what the new rates will be. While rates aren’t set in stone yet, interest rates on new federal student loans are expected to jump this July.

We’ve updated our Paying for College tool using our best guess of what the rates will be, so you can have a better estimate of what your monthly payment might be after graduation.

Interest rates on most federal student loans are based on a certain type of bond that the Treasury Department issues, known as the ten-year note. The yield is the rate at which investors charge the federal government for borrowing money. Next month, there will be a Treasury bond auction, and that rate will set federal student loan interest rates.

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Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average

April 17, 2014 Comments off

Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average
Source: National Science Foundation

In 2010, an estimated 805,500 individuals in the United States held research doctoral degrees in science, engineering, and health (SEH) fields, an increase of 6.2% from 2008. Of these individuals, 709,700 were in the labor force, which includes those employed full time or part time and those actively seeking work (i.e., unemployed). The unemployment rate for SEH doctorate recipients was 2.4% in October 2010, up from 1.7% in October 2008 and similar to the rate in October 2003 (table 1). Moreover, the 2010 unemployment rate of the SEH doctoral labor force was about one-third of the October 2010 unemployment rate for the general population aged 25 years or older (8.2%).

Student Loan Safety Nets: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Income-Based Repayment

April 17, 2014 Comments off

Student Loan Safety Nets: Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Income-Based Repayment
Source: Brookings Institution

The plight of underemployed college graduates struggling to make their student loan payments has received a great deal of media attention throughout the recent economic recession. The primary safety net available to borrowers of federal loans facing unaffordable monthly payments is income-based repayment, in which borrowers make monthly payments based on their earnings rather than a traditional schedule of flat payments.

The importance of these programs is widely recognized. How much these programs will cost and how the benefits will be distributed among borrowers, however, is not well understood— in large part because these costs and benefits will be realized over multiple decades. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to know whether these programs are meeting the goal of effectively and efficiently protecting borrowers without creating significant unintended consequences.

This report seeks to fill that gap by providing some of the first detailed evidence about the predicted costs and benefits of existing income-based repayment programs. Authors Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos develop an empirical framework for understanding the costs and benefits of these programs and use simulation methods to apply this framework to a nationally representative sample of bachelor’s degree recipients. These methods cannot accurately estimate the overall cost of the programs, but they provide fairly robust estimates of the relative cost of different program components, and of the share of benefits received by different groups of borrowers.

Hooked on Smartphones: An Exploratory Study on Smartphone Overuse among College Students

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Hooked on Smartphones: An Exploratory Study on Smartphone Overuse among College Students (PDF)
Source: Association for Computing Machinery

The negative aspects of smartphone overuse on young adults, such as sleep deprivation and attention deficits, are being increasingly recognized recently. This emerging issue motivated us to analyze the usage patterns related to smartphone overuse. We investigate smartphone usage for 95 college students using surveys, logged data, and interviews. We first divide the participants into risk and non-risk groups based on self-reported rating scale for smartphone overuse. We then analyze the usage data to identify between-group usage differences, which ranged from the overall usage patterns to appspecific usage patterns. Compared with the non-risk group, our results show that the risk group has longer usage time per day and different diurnal usage patterns. Also, the risk group users are more susceptible to push notifications, and tend to consume more online content. We characterize the overall relationship between usage features and smartphone overuse using analytic modeling and provide detailed illustrations of problematic usage behaviors based on interview data.

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College

April 15, 2014 Comments off

Out-of-Pocket Net Price for College
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This Data Point uses data from four administrations of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:2000, NPSAS:04, NPSAS:08, and NPSAS:12) to briefly present trends in out-of-pocket net price for college, the amount that students and their families must pay to attend college after subtracting grants, loans, work-study, and all other student aid from the total price of attendance. It also presents out-of-pocket net price by income levels for the most recent data available (2011-12). For comparability, findings are presented for undergraduates attending full time for a full year and also trends are presented separately for key institution types (public 2-year, public 4-year, private nonprofit 4-year, and for-profit institutions).

2013 Open Doors Report

April 14, 2014 Comments off

2013 Open Doors Report
Source: Institute of International Education
From press release:

The 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, finds the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by seven percent to a record high of 819,644 students in the 2012/13 academic year, while U.S. students studying abroad increased by three percent to an all-time high of more than 283,000.

In 2012/13, 55,000 more international students enrolled in U.S. higher education compared to 2011/12, with most of the growth driven by China and Saudi Arabia. This marks the seventh consecutive year that Open Doors reported expansion in the total number of international students in U.S. higher education. There are now 40 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than a decade ago, and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past three years. International students make up slightly under four percent of total student enrollment at the graduate and undergraduate level combined. International students’ spending in all 50 states contributed approximately $24 billion to the U.S. economy.

The number of U.S. students who studied abroad for academic credit increased by three percent to 283,332 students in 2011/12, a higher rate of growth than the one percent increase the previous year. More U.S. students went to Latin America and China, and there was a rebound in those going to Japan as programs reopened in Fall 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades, from approximately 71,000 students in 1991/92 to the record number in 2011/12. Despite these increases, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point during their undergraduate years.

New Report Documents That Liberal Arts Disciplines Prepare Graduates for Long-Term Professional Success

April 10, 2014 Comments off

New Report Documents That Liberal Arts Disciplines Prepare Graduates for Long-Term Professional Success
Source: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) released today a new report on earnings and long-term career paths for college graduates with different undergraduate majors. In How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment, authors Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly analyze data from the 2010-11 US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and provide answers to some common questions posed by students, parents, and policy makers who are increasingly concerned about the value of college degrees.

Responding to concerns about whether college is still worth it and whether liberal arts majors provide a solid foundation for long-term employment and career success, the report compares earnings trajectories and career pathways for liberal arts majors with the earnings trajectories and career pathways for those majoring in science and mathematics, engineering, and professional or preprofessional fields like business or education.

“Recent attacks on the liberal arts by ill-informed commentators and policy makers have painted a misleading picture of the value of the liberal arts to individuals and our communities,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. “As the findings in this report demonstrate, majoring in a liberal arts field can and does lead to successful and remunerative careers in a wide array of professions.”

Academe — Losing Focus: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2013-14

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Losing Focus: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2013-14
Source: American Association of University Professors

In the decades following World War II, higher education in the United States has evolved from a narrow concern for a few scholars into an institution that affects all aspects of our society. Nearly every American has either attended college or has a friend or a family member who has enrolled, and many people also follow college sports or have a college or university in their communities. In short, higher education is a central social institution in contemporary America.

And yet, even as colleges and universities have become the focus of increased attention from the general public and policy makers alike, these institutions themselves seem to have lost their focus on a mission of preparing an informed citizenry for participation in democracy and expanding knowledge for the benefit of all. Without a doubt, higher education still provides a transformative experience for the millions of individuals who take part in its many activities. Behind the scenes, however, American higher education is changing in ways that detract from its potential to enhance the common good. This report will endeavor to wipe away some of the clouds obscuring a clear focus on the vital core mission of higher education.

CRS — Unlawfully Present Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis

April 7, 2014 Comments off

Unlawfully Present Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The existence of a sizable population of “DREAMers” in the United States has prompted questions about unlawfully present aliens’ eligibility for admission to public institutions of higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. The term DREAMer is widely used to describe aliens who were brought to the United States as children and raised here but lack legal immigration status. As children, DREAMers are entitled to public elementary and secondary education as a result of the Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe. There, the Court struck down a Texas statute that prohibited the use of state funds to provide elementary and secondary education to children who were not “legally admitted” to the United States because the state distinguished between these children and other children without a “substantial” goal, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Once DREAMers complete high school, however, they may have less access to public higher education. Plyler’s holding was limited to elementary and secondary education, and the Court’s focus on the young age of those whom Texas denied a “basic education” has generally been taken to mean that measures denying unlawfully present aliens access to higher education may be subject to less scrutiny than the Texas statute was. Thus, several states have adopted laws or practices barring the enrollment of unlawfully present aliens at public institutions of higher education. In addition, Congress has enacted two statutes that restrict unlawfully present aliens’ eligibility for “public benefits,” a term which has generally been construed to encompass in-state tuition and financial aid. The first of these statutes, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA, P.L. 104-193) bars the provision of “state and local public benefits” to unlawfully present aliens unless the state enacts legislation that “affirmatively provides” for their eligibility. The second, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA, P.L. 104-208) bars states from providing “postsecondary education benefits” to unlawfully present aliens based on their residence in the state unless all U.S. citizens or nationals are eligible for such benefits, regardless of their state of residence.

Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Teams

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Keeping Score When It Counts: Graduation Success and Academic Progress Rates for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Teams
Source: Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport

There is good news regarding academic success in general for both the men’s and women’s Sweet 16 teams. The GSR and the APR rates of the teams are overwhelmingly high. As in the past, the women still do better than the men. The most troubling statistics in the report come when we look at the historical gap between the graduation rates of white and African-American student-athletes which grew substantially for both the men’s and women’s teams in the 2014 Sweet 16 fields.

CRS — The Higher Education Act (HEA): A Primer

April 3, 2014 Comments off

The Higher Education Act (HEA): A Primer (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA; P.L. 89-329) authorizes numerous federal aid programs that provide support to both individuals pursuing a postsecondary education and institutions of higher education (IHEs). Title IV of the HEA authorizes the federal government’s major student aid programs, which are the primary source of direct federal support to students pursuing postsecondary education. Titles II, III, and V of the HEA provide institutional aid and support. Additionally, the HEA authorizes services and support for less-advantaged students (select Title IV programs), students pursing international education (Title VI), and students pursuing and institutions offering certain graduate and professional degrees (Title VII). Finally, the most recently added title (Title VIII) authorizes several other programs that support higher education.

The HEA was last comprehensively reauthorized in 2008 by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA; P.L. 110-315), which authorized most HEA programs through FY2014. Following the enactment of the HEAO, the HEA has been amended by numerous other laws, most notably the SAFRA Act, part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), which terminated the authority to make federal student loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.

This report provides a brief overview of the major provisions of the HEA.

Federal Science and Engineering Obligations to Universities and Colleges Drop by 11% in FY 2011

March 29, 2014 Comments off

Federal Science and Engineering Obligations to Universities and Colleges Drop by 11% in FY 2011
Source: National Science Foundation

In FY 2011, federal agencies obligated $31.4 billion to 1,134 academic institutions for science and engineering activities. The 11.0% decrease in current dollars from FY 2010 federal obligations ($35.3 billion to 1,219 academic institutions) reflects the absence of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) stimulus funds in FY 2011. The last ARRA funds were obligated in FY 2010 and accounted for $5.1 billion (14.5%) of FY 2010 science and engineering (S&E) obligations to academic institutions. If ARRA obligations are excluded from FY 2010 totals, FY 2011 S&E obligations to academic institutions increased $1.2 billion (4.1%) (table 1). These statistics are from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions.

Student Veterans of America Releases Findings from the Million Records Project

March 27, 2014 Comments off

SVA Releases Findings from the Million Records Project
Source: Student Veterans of America

A Student Veterans of America (SVA) report combining data on U.S. college degree attainment with information on veterans who have used Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits shows that 51.7 percent have received a postsecondary degree or certificate, a completion rate similar to traditional college students, and greater than other nontraditional students.

Web-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for University Students: A Randomized Trial

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Web-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for University Students: A Randomized Trial
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

Importance
Unhealthy alcohol use is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, particularly among young people. Systematic reviews suggest efficacy of web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention and call for effectiveness trials in settings where it could be sustainably delivered.

Objective
To evaluate a national web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention program.

Design, Setting, and Participants
A multisite, double-blind, parallel-group, individually randomized trial was conducted at 7 New Zealand universities. In April and May of 2010, invitations containing hyperlinks to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) screening test were e-mailed to 14 991 students aged 17 to 24 years.

Interventions
Participants who screened positive (AUDIT-C score ≥4) were randomized to undergo screening alone or to 10 minutes of assessment and feedback (including comparisons with medical guidelines and peer norms) on alcohol expenditure, peak blood alcohol concentration, alcohol dependence, and access to help and information.

Main Outcomes and Measures
A fully automated 5-month follow-up assessment was conducted that measured 6 primary outcomes: consumption per typical occasion, drinking frequency, volume of alcohol consumed, an academic problems score, and whether participants exceeded medical guidelines for acute harm (binge drinking) and chronic harm (heavy drinking). A Bonferroni-corrected significance threshold of .0083 was used to account for the 6 comparisons and a sensitivity analysis was used to assess possible attrition bias.

Results
Of 5135 students screened, 3422 scored 4 or greater and were randomized, and 83% were followed up. There was a significant effect on 1 of the 6 prespecified outcomes. Relative to control participants, those who received intervention consumed less alcohol per typical drinking occasion (median 4 drinks [interquartile range {IQR}, 2-8] vs 5 drinks [IQR 2-8]; rate ratio [RR], 0.93 [99.17% CI, 0.86-1.00]; P = .005) but not less often (RR, 0.95 [99.17% CI, 0.88-1.03]; P = .08) or less overall (RR, 0.95 [99.17% CI, 0.81-1.10]; P = .33). Academic problem scores were not lower (RR, 0.91 [99.17% CI, 0.76-1.08]; P = .14) and effects on the risks of binge drinking (odds ratio [OR], 0.84 [99.17% CI, 0.67-1.05]; P = .04) and heavy drinking (OR, 0.77 [99.17% CI, 0.56-1.05]; P = .03) were not significantly significant. In a sensitivity analysis accounting for attrition, the effect on alcohol per typical drinking occasion was no longer statistically significant.

Conclusions and Relevance
A national web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention program produced no significant reductions in the frequency or overall volume of drinking or academic problems. There remains a possibility of a small reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed per typical drinking occasion.

2014 Payscale College ROI Report

March 26, 2014 Comments off

2014 Payscale College ROI Report
Source: Payscale

How do you measure the value of a college education? PayScale has the salary data to rank hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities based on total cost and alumni earnings. Find the best returns on investment by school type, location, major and more.

CBO — Letter to the Honorable Paul Ryan Regarding Federal Spending for Major Mandatory Spending Programs and Tax Credits that are Primarily Means-Tested

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Letter to the Honorable Paul Ryan Regarding Federal Spending for Major Mandatory Spending Programs and Tax Credits that are Primarily Means-Tested
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Federal spending for each of the government’s major mandatory spending programs and tax credits that are primarily means-tested (that is, spending programs and tax credits that provide cash payments or assistance in obtaining health care, food, or education to people with relatively low income or few assets). Table 1 shows CBO’s baseline projections for the 2014–2024 period; Table 2 shows historical spending data from 2004 through 2013, along with CBO’s estimates for 2014.

The tables include total spending for mandatory programs that are primarily not means-tested, but they do not include separate entries for individual programs in that group that have means-tested components (for example, student loans and some portions of Medicare, other than low-income subsidies for Part D). They also do not include means-tested programs that are discretionary (for example, the Section 8 housing assistance programs and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). However, the tables show discretionary spending for the Pell Grant program as a memorandum item because that program has both discretionary and mandatory spending components and the amount of the mandatory Pell grant component is partially dependent on the annual amount of discretionary funding.

In CBO’s latest baseline projections, published in The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024 (February 2014), mandatory outlays for both means-tested and non-means-tested programs are projected to grow over the next decade at an average annual rate of 5.4 percent (see Table 1).

Overall, the growth rates projected for total mandatory spending over the coming decade are slower than those experienced in the past 10 years—by about one-half percentage point per year, on average. Over the 2005–2014 period, CBO estimates that total mandatory outlays will have increased at an average annual rate of 6.0 percent—means-tested programs by an average of 6.8 percent per year and non-means-tested programs by 5.7 percent per year (see Table 2).

What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers

March 24, 2014 Comments off

What Makes Lawyers Happy? Transcending the Anecdotes with Data from 6200 Lawyers
Source: Social Science Research Network

Attorney well-being and depression are topics of great concern, but there has been no theory-driven empirical research to guide lawyers and law students seeking well-being. This article reports a unique study establishing a hierarchy of five tiers of factors for lawyer well-being, including choices in law school, legal career, and personal life, and psychological needs and motivations established by Self-Determination Theory. Data from several thousand lawyers in four states show striking patterns, repeatedly indicating that common priorities on law school campuses and among lawyers are confused or misplaced. Factors typically afforded most attention and concern, those relating to prestige and money (income, law school debt, class rank, law review, and USNWR law school ranking) showed zero to small correlations with lawyer well-being. Conversely, factors marginalized in law school and seen in previous research to erode in law students (psychological needs and motivation) were the very strongest predictors of lawyer happiness and satisfaction. Lawyers were grouped by practice type and setting to further test these findings. The group with the lowest incomes and grades in law school, public service lawyers, had stronger autonomy and purpose and were happier than those in the most prestigious positions and with the highest grades and incomes. Additional measures raised concerns: subjects did not broadly agree that judge and lawyer behavior is professional, nor that the legal process reaches fair outcomes. Specific explanations and recommendations for lawyers, law teachers, and legal employers are drawn from the data, and direct implications for attorney productivity and professionalism are explained.

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment

March 21, 2014 Comments off

Career and Technical Education Dual Enrollment: A Strategy for College Completion and Workforce Investment (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

Dual enrollment programs are expanding – and so are dual enrollment programs with a career and technical education (CTE) focus. The most recent data available from the National Center on Education Statistics show that 82 percent of high schools had students enrolling in dual enrollment coursework in 2010-11. Nearly half of the schools had students participating in dual enrollment with a CTE focus. That translates into roughly 601,500 students enrolled in CTE dual enrollment courses that year.

The Importance of Engineering Talent to the Prosperity and Security of the Nation: Summary of a Forum (2014)

March 19, 2014 Comments off

The Importance of Engineering Talent to the Prosperity and Security of the Nation: Summary of a Forum (2014)
Source: National Academy

The quality of engineering in the United States will only be as good as the quality of the engineers doing it. The recruitment and retention of talented young people into engineering therefore need to be top national priorities, given the crucial importance of engineering to our prosperity, security, health, and well-being. Only 4.4 percent of the undergraduate degrees awarded by US colleges and universities are in engineering, compared with 13 percent in key European countries (the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and France) and 23 percent in key Asian countries (India, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore). In the past, the United States has been able to attract engineering graduate students and professionals from other countries to meet the need for engineering talent in the public and private sectors. But other countries are providing increasingly attractive opportunities for engineers, with excellent salaries, facilities, and economic growth potential. The United States can no longer assume that the best engineering talent in the world will want to come to this country.

The Importance of Engineering Talent to the Prosperity and Security of the Nation is the summary of a forum held during the National Academy of Engineering’s 2013 Annual Meeting. Speakers discussed the opportunities and challenges of creation and wise use of engineering talent, and made recommendations for recruitment and retention strategies. This report assesses the status of engineering education in the U.S. and makes recommendations to promote and improve engineering education.

2013-14 Study of Online Education Opportunities

March 18, 2014 Comments off

2013-14 Study of Online Education Opportunities
Source: ApprovedColleges.com

The number of self-reported online schools totaled 3,311. However, the actual number of schools offering online programs currently stands at 1,243. This number will increase as our research continues.

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