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Major Decisions: Graduates’ Earnings Growth and Debt Repayment

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Major Decisions: Graduates’ Earnings Growth and Debt Repayment
Source: Brookings Institution

Student debt is becoming the norm for young adults in America. Aggregate student loan debt has more than tripled over the past decade, as both the number of borrowers and the size of the average balance have increased. Today, roughly 70 percent of American bachelor’s graduates leave school with debt. For these borrowers, the typical balance is $26,500—half owe more than this amount and half owe less.

The high incidence of student debt says nothing about whether taking out student loans to pay for college is a good idea. In a previous economic analysis Major Decisions: What Graduates Earn Over Their Lifetimes, The Hamilton Project examined earnings for approximately 80 majors and found that, throughout the entire career, median earnings for every major are higher than those for high school graduates. Differences in earnings reflect both the return to skills acquired in pursuit of a degree and the underlying capability and work ethic of individuals who pursue college education. However, experts agree that for most students, college will pay off by large margins over a lifetime.

But how easily students can repay the loans used to pay for college is another matter. While career earnings tend to grow rapidly for almost every major, student loans are typically repaid in the first decade of the career when earnings are at their lowest. Such a repayment strategy places a particularly heavy burden on graduates whose earnings start low before rising later in their careers. For these students, college likely still pays off in the end, but it may not provide the cash flow needed to easily pay off loans in the years immediately following graduation.

In this second economic analysis in the Major Decisions series, The Hamilton Project turns to the question of loan repayment. The analysis explores the relationship between earnings growth over one’s career and the relative burden of debt repayment across 80 majors. Specifically, we examine the share of monthly earnings needed to make monthly loan repayments for each major under the traditional 10-year repayment plan. Accompanying the analysis is a new interactive feature that combines a debt repayment calculator with major-specific earnings trajectories, allowing the user to see what share of earnings will go to debt repayment for each year of the repayment period.

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Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2005-10; and Student Financial Aid in Postsecondary Institutions, Academic Year 2012-13: First Look (Provisional Data) NCES 2014-

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Graduation Rates for Selected Cohorts, 2005-10; and Student Financial Aid in Postsecondary Institutions, Academic Year 2012-13: First Look (Provisional Data) NCES 2014-
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This provisional First Look report includes fully edited and imputed data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) winter 2013-14 data collection, which included two survey components: Graduation Rates for selected cohorts 2005-2010, as well as Student Financial data for the academic year 2012-13.

Open Doors 2014: International Students in the United States and Study Abroad by American Students are at All-Time High

November 20, 2014 Comments off

Open Doors 2014: International Students in the United States and Study Abroad by American Students are at All-Time High
Source: Institute of International Education

The 2014 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 eight percent to a record high of 886,052 students in the 2013/14 academic year, confirming once again that the United States remains the destination of choice for higher education. The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world, with almost double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country. The report also found that more American students—a total of 289,408—studied abroad for academic credit from their U.S. colleges and universities, although the two percent increase represents a slightly slower rate of growth than the previous year. The Open Doors® report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Open-source textbooks can help drive down the overall cost of college

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Open-source textbooks can help drive down the overall cost of college (PDF)
Source: Education Commission of the States

There is growing national and international interest in Open Educational Resources as a way to help financially distressed states reduce costs and save students millions of dollars.

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2008 Cohort

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2008 Cohort
Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

This third annual report on national college completion rates offers the first look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2008, the cohort that entered college during the Great Recession. It looks at the various pathways students took toward degree completion, as well as the completion rates through May 2014 for the different student types who followed each pathway. The report also provides discussion comparing the fall 2008 cohort’s outcomes to those of the fall 2007 cohort (analyzed in our second annual completions report, Signature Report 6).

Skills Beyond Schools Synthesis Report

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Skills Beyond Schools Synthesis Report
Source: OECD

Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? This report synthesises the findings of the series of country reports done on skills beyond school.

Chapter 1. The hidden world of professional education and training
Chapter 2. Enhancing the profile of professional education and training
Chapter 3. Three key elements of high-quality post-secondary programmes
Chapter 4. Transparency in learning outcomes
Chapter 5. Clearer pathways for learners
Chapter 6. Key characteristics of effective vocational systems

New College Board Trends in Higher Education Reports: College Prices Increase at a Slower Pace While Student Borrowing Declines for the Third Consecutive Year

November 14, 2014 Comments off

New College Board Trends in Higher Education Reports: College Prices Increase at a Slower Pace While Student Borrowing Declines for the Third Consecutive Year
Source: College Board

While published tuition and fees at colleges and universities continue to rise more rapidly than the rate of inflation, the rate of increase has slowed. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the percentage increases in published tuition and fees (in all sectors) were smaller than the average annual increases over the previous five, 10, and 30 years, according to the College Board’s 2014 Trends in Higher Education reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released today. Total education borrowing fell by 8% between 2012-13 and 2013-14, and by 13% over three years. Borrowing per student declined by 6% in one year and by 9% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.

College pricing and financial aid look very different in 2013 and 2014 than they did in 2010. As the economy has begun to recover from the recent recession, published price increases have slowed, making it clear that prices are not on an accelerating path. However, price increases continue to accumulate, totaling 17% between 2007-08 and 2014-15 at private nonprofit four-year colleges, and almost 30% at public two-year and four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation.

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