Highlights from Higher Ed: Diversity Awarded and ROI Examined

“Test-Only” idea shows the problem with standardized testing

More and more colleges and universities are moving towards holistic admissions, and some are making tests like the SAT, GMAT and GREs optional. But when researchers studied the effects of making standardized test scores the sole measurement in the admissions process, exactly no one was surprised. Less diversity in top tier schools, where white students would make up 75% of the population — compared to 66% currently — and two-thirds of the student body would come from families with an annual income of at least $122,000. Test-only admissions would lead to a majority white, aristocratic student body, which is why holistic admissions, with standardized tests playing a part in decisions, is becoming so popular.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

California graduates highly sought

The number of high school graduates seeking college education has resulted in students looking outside the state for admittance. In 2016, 40,000 first-time college students enrolled in institutions outside of California, which makes other colleges pay attention. There are almost 2.9 million fewer college students across the country this year than there were in the Fall of 2011. High school graduates in the state have increased by just 5% in the last eight years, but the number of students who are completing college-prep courses increased by 32%. The top 9% of graduates across California are supposed to be guaranteed admission at one of the University of California campuses, but it’s now on a space available basis.

Source: PBS News

Support for Latino students rewarded

A new award, the “Seal of Excelencia,” has been developed and awarded to nine higher education institutions for their work in improving outcomes for Latino students on their campuses. The efforts of these institutions were measured by looking at their financial support operations, their enrollment, retention and graduation of Latino students and their representation of Latinos in administration, faculty and staff. Almost 18 million Hispanic students were enrolled in 2016, making up 19.1% of students in 1996. But Hispanic students frequently lag in college graduation rates. Only 15% of those aged 25 to 29 have a bachelor’s degree, while 22% of black and 41% of white students of the same age group hold a bachelor’s degree. The universities awarded the seal include El Paso Community College, Grand Valle State University in Michigan and Florida International University.

Source: Education Dive

Is the ROI worth the debt?

Each year graduates question the return on their investment when considering their student loan debt and searching for a job. MBA graduates from the class of 2018 were surveyed and about 40% of those who attended top schools say they have debt that adds up to at least $100,000. Accompanying this data from Bloomberg Businessweek is data from SoFi, who reports that the University of Wisconsin School of Business has the best ROI at 2.3x, meaning the average salary is equal to 2.3 times the average student debt.

Source: Poets & Quants