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Highlights from Higher Ed: More Med and Law School Applications, Studying Closer to Home and the Economic Benefits of a College Education

Medical and law schools report spikes in applications

The number of applications to law schools increased by 32% compared with this time last year, according to the Law School Admission Council. In addition, there are now “more applications for each applicant, with the average student applying to six law schools instead of five. Applications are up across geographic boundaries and LSAT scores.” During the same period, applications to medical schools increased by 18% overall, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Applications to osteopathic medical programs also rose by 18%. That increase may be attributable to the pandemic. “Doctors of osteopathic medicine… look at the whole person — mind, body and spirit — and [are] not just focused on treating the disease. In these complicated and stressful times, that philosophy is resonating with more and more students.” For potential law students: “Certain events, like the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… captured public attention and showed people how much the law matters and how much difference a single person could make in the law.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed

More parents want students to study closer to home — and more students agree

Roughly half of all recently surveyed parents want their children to attend college near home and about one-third of students feel the same way. That represents a “huge increase” in each category compared with this past spring. However, parents and their children don’t always share the same opinion about the value of college. “While parents in the study still highly value a college education (73%), their children are mixed, with only 53% saying it’s critical for advancement.” The top three concerns among high school seniors planning to enroll are the cost of tuition (25%), school safety and COVID policies (20%) and the quality of remote learning (18%). Regarding communications they receive from colleges, parents and students have somewhat different preferences for the mode of delivery. Among parents, 54% want email, 14% prefer texts and 11% want web posts. Among students, 40% prefer email, 20% want texts and 12% said social media is their top choice.

Source: University Business 

Students says anti-cheating technologies cause unwarranted problems and stress

Potentially invasive and flawed at-home test-taking surveillance technologies are giving students serious cause for concern, with worries ranging from being falsely accused of cheating to camera angles that violate personal privacy. At San Diego State University, for example, “one student said he was accused of cheating on multiple occasions for reading questions out loud, not properly showing the computer his notes, supposedly using a calculator and solving certain problems too quickly. He appealed, but the prospect of a failing grade consumed his academic life. Others described the anxiety they’ve experienced while being watched and the creepiness they felt when showing the camera the space on top and below their desk — what one researcher said amounted to as a ‘crotch shot, basically.’” Privacy advocates also warn that such technology “collects facial detection data and keyboard and mouse activity.”


Earning a college degree boosts lifetime earnings — and the economy

On average, the lifetime earnings of an individual with an associate degree will exceed that of a worker with just a high school diploma by approximately $415,000. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees will likely earn $1.2 million more than diploma-only workers. What’s more, the benefits of graduating from college are not limited to personal earnings. According to researchers at the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, “degrees not only help boost the bottom line for graduates but also for the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).” Their study revealed that “a simple 1% increase in state college or university graduates would boost GDP by 0.5% and that further investment in students would only contribute to that number. For example, they note that boosting bachelor’s degree holders from the current 33.4% of students to 50% would increase Georgia’s potential GDP by $45.7 billion, or 7.7% of actual GDP.”

Source: University Business