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Highlights from Higher Ed: Grad Students’ Worries, Rising Tuition and Business School Location Preferences

New report details grad students’ woes

Approximately one-quarter of recently surveyed graduate students have concerns about food and housing insecurity, and an equal number believe they will need more time than anticipated to complete their degrees. Among those expecting a delay, 51% think they will need an extra six months, while 36% think they’ll need another year. The researchers who surveyed 4,000 students at 11 institutions also identified widespread mental health concerns: “More than two-thirds of the graduate students reported low well-being, as measured by the World Health Organization’s five-point index, while about a third said they’d experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression. And 31% reported they’d had symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Although the survey was conducted during the pandemic, “the results don’t indicate whether those feelings had been caused by the pandemic.”

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

College tuition now rising at double the rate of inflation

The cost of attending a four-year U.S. university rose by 497% — more than double the rate of inflation — between the 1985-86 and 2017-18 academic years. At two-year community colleges, the cost rose about one-third faster than the inflation rate. “Bachelor’s degrees cost an average of $5,504 per year to pursue in 1985, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a subagency of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2017 it was $27,357. The price at two-year schools jumped from $3,367 a year to $10,704, roughly a 320% hike, according to the center.” A college education is linked to higher earnings: “The median weekly earning for someone with a high school diploma was $746 last year, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. With a bachelor’s degree, that jumped to $1,248. Median earnings with a doctorate were $1,883. For someone in the U.S. who never finished high school, it was $592.”

Source: Forbes

The United States and United Kingdom are top choices of international business students

Roughly two-thirds of survey respondents from 50 countries now say they would consider studying in the U.S. (68%) and U.K. (67%). “Last year, just 50% of respondents listed the U.S. as a country considered for international study, which was down from 62% in 2018 and 67% in 2017. That means that in 2020, the U.S. is getting back to pre-Trump status as a destination for the world’s top graduate business education talent.” According to this year’s study, the next most popular potential locations for business students are Canada (48%), Singapore (40%) and Australia (40%). “The main reason why the U.S. remains a popular choice among international students? A strong reputation among its many business schools outweighs its many current social and political issues. Respondents were asked to rank three considerations when thinking about studying abroad and the most popular consideration — ranked first by nearly 40% of respondents — is the ‘reputation of an individual business school.’ Almost 70% of respondents ranked the reputation of a business school in their top-three — also more than any other consideration.”

Source: Poets & Quants

Most students and faculty think higher ed will experience significant transformation

More than four out of five college students (83%) and faculty members (89%) believe the pandemic will transform higher education, and few believe online learning has been very effective. “Forty-three percent of surveyed students who were enrolled in institutions that were not fully online before COVID-19 say they think their online learning experiences thus far have been only ‘somewhat’ effective. Just 8% of students say their online learning experience was ‘very’ effective. When it comes to value, 45% of students believe their online learning experiences were ‘somewhat’ valuable and 15% believe they were ‘very’ valuable. Faculty are somewhat more optimistic about online learning experiences, with 52% saying they believe online learning was ‘somewhat’ effective for students, and 15% saying it was ‘very’ effective.”

Source: eCampus News