Highlights in Higher Ed: The Fear of Losing International Students and the Average Six-figure Cost of an MBA

The challenge of quantifying program grad rates

“How can higher-ed institutions measure their graduation rates?” 

This question can be answered with IPEDS, the “Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System… of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).” IPEDS works to gather information pertaining to universities, colleges and even technical and vocational institutions that participate in the FAFSA. But what if a university wants to evaluate its graduation rate for a particular program —  such as creative writing, for example —in order to assess that program’s dropout rate? This question is tricky to answer. The IPEDS graduation-rate “headline number” only takes into account first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students who complete their program in 150% or less of “normative” time.” But a majority of creative writing majors (among others) do not fit into the IPEDS formula. For example, many are part-time students, have transferred credits or already hold degrees in other fields. As a result, cutting the number of those who fit into the IPDES profile could render comparisons between majors meaningless.  

Sources: Inside Higher Ed; nces.ed.gov

Colleges fear losing international students over visa delays

Leaders at many institutions including Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT are concerned about the enrollment of their admitted international students. In order to address this, they have written to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “urging them to expedite visa issuances by the USCIS or else face a precipitous decline in the flow of international talent to the U.S. in the years to come.” Overall enrollment of new international students and new graduate enrollment students in U.S. colleges have been on a downward spiral since peaking in 2015-16. New enrollment of international undergrads fell by 2.9% in 2016-17, and by 6.9% the following year. Graduate-level new enrollments declined by 6.8% from a highpoint in 2015-16 to 2017-18, according to the Institute of International Education.

Source: Education Dive

Is the MBA’s average six-figure debt worth it?

Bloomberg Businessweek researchers surveyed over 10,000 2018 MBA graduates from 126 business schools around the world. They found about 40% of respondents who received “MBAs from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, SC Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and University of Chicago Booth School of Business reported graduating  with six-figure debt.” Particularly notable responses include 47% at Fuqua and 46% at Dartmouth Tuck. Shahien Nasiripour, of Bloomberg Businessweek, believes these “survey results shed new light on the amount of debt that aspiring executives and entrepreneurs take on to jump-start their careers with a credential prized by the nation’s leading financial institutions, consultancies, and corporations.”

Despite the six-figure debt that a large number of MBA grads accumulate, many say the degree is an investment that still holds value. However, they also note that some schools offer better ROI than others.

Source: Poets & Quants

College students are increasingly forgoing summers off to save money, stay on track

The summer is usually a college student’s chance to relax after the long semester, but an increasing number of students have decided to refrain from enjoying lengthy summer breaks in order to save money and stay on track for graduation. Students are doing so by utilizing the yearround classes offered by local community colleges, since many four-year campuses shut down between May and late August. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 42% of firsttime college students graduate on time, and “the longer students take to graduate the more they end up paying.” This causes students to seek alternative, nontraditional paths of enrollment, including enrolling in multiple institutions.  

Source: The Hechinger Report

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