Highlights in Higher Ed: Understanding Post-traditional and International Students

Liberal arts degree — still worth it

A new study by a pair of economists at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation suggests that a liberal arts degree is still worth the cost. While it may not garner as much income as an engineering degree, it still leads to economic mobility and profitability. The study shows that the top degree obtained by those who study at a non-liberal arts school is engineering, but the rest of the STEM degrees awarded are from liberal arts colleges. As far as the economic payoff, more than 60% of the liberal arts graduates are finding themselves in the top two quintiles of income. The study included an analysis of graduation rates and the availability of financial aid.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Mega-universities market to post-traditional students well

This week the term “mega-university” was used to describe universities that have physical campuses but focus primarily on online programs. They’ve discovered a niche audience of working adults and have prioritized them over traditional students. By offering credits for life experiences and marketing widely, they’ve been able to attract from the 30 million Americans who have tried college but have not yet received a degree. One such example is Arizona State University, which enrolled over 95,000 students in their 2017 group of undergraduates, with almost 1/3 of them being online students. Mega-universities like ASU have mastered the art of career-focused education.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Coding Boot Camp meets Cal Poly

Coding is all the rage and college students don’t want to be left behind. Fullstack Academy has joined the ranks of coding companies that have partnered with colleges as they join with California Polytechnic State University to start a web-development online training program. The 26-week program will allow 25 to 40 students to learn part-time in three to four groups each year. Boot camp enrollment, and interest, is up since 2013 when just over 2,000 students were enrolled. In 2018, over 20,000 students were poised to graduate from boot camps. Make School and the Dominican University of California are taking it a step further by partnering for a bachelor’s degree in computer science following a path of accreditation established by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Source: Education Dive 

Foreign student enrollment not entirely the President’s fault

For the past few years, international student enrollment and application numbers have gone down, slightly. While some students have noted the U.S. President’s position on immigration as a reason, there are others. One such reason is the cost of higher education in the U.S. The average annual tuition amount in the U.S. is $8,202 at public schools and $21,189 at private schools. But the average tuition in South Korea is less than $5,000 for public and $8,500 for private, which plays into the decision process for students looking to come to the U.S.

Source: Forbes

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