Highlights from Higher Ed: College Benefits, Revenue Trends, Debt Forgiveness, and “Stacked Credentials”

Jul 14, 2022

Americans have conflicting feelings about the value of college

Most Americans (86%) believe that earning a college degree can help people advance their careers, and nearly two-thirds (64%) of recent survey respondents said high school graduates could earn a better living if they end up graduating from college. But only 52% believe higher education benefits the overall economy, and just 51% said our democracy would benefit if more people earned college diplomas. “While recognizing its potential benefits, many Americans question whether a college education is worth it. In an economy that most see as fundamentally unfair, Americans view college as expensive and time-consuming, and they see colleges as stuck in the past.” When asked whether racial discrimination makes it more difficult for visible minorities to complete college, 72% of Democrats said yes, compared with 49% of independents, and 24% of Republicans.

Source: Higher Ed Dive

More Students Apply to Study in Other Countries

A recent survey of 599 U.S. colleges and universities found that 65% have experienced an increase in applications from foreign students for the next academic year, compared with 43% in 2021. In 2020, 52% said they had received fewer international applications. Explanations for this year’s increase include a renewed emphasis on in-person recruitment, the resumption of in-person classes, and institutions’ efforts to support the safety and well-being of international students. The number of U.S. students applying to study abroad is also on the rise. “Overall, 83% of institutions reported an increase in study abroad numbers compared to last year, an uptick that was found at all types of institutions and in all geographic regions of the U.S. That’s a significant improvement from 2020-21, when only 1% of colleges and universities expected study abroad numbers to increase, and from 2021-22, when 35% anticipated an increase.”

Source: Forbes

In the Test-Optional Era, Data Fills Information Gaps and Increases Access

Last year, the number of Common App schools that did not require test scores from applicants increased from approximately 33% to nearly 90%. While the move away from standardized testing is widely seen as an opportunity to eliminate barriers and increase access for underrepresented and underserved populations, it has also deprived schools of valuable data about potential students. Diving into other sources of data may be the solution, said Chris Lucier, Director of Partner Relationships at Othot, in a recent op-ed. “Test-optional policies should be paired with advanced analytics to capture a prospective student’s life experiences more fully, how the student will likely fit within an institution’s culture, and their likelihood to persist and graduate. The reality is that admissions and enrollment management professionals already can, and do, use a range of data inputs and models to build their classes — often in highly-sophisticated ways.” Those strategies may include data-driven assessments of grade point average, class rank, honors course, extracurricular activities, and even socioeconomic status. “What advanced analytics can provide is a more nuanced understanding of the student and their ability to be successful at an institution, the support that they may need — helping the enrollment leader to manage financial aid investments more effectively.”

Source: University Business

Most 2022 Grads Feel Prepared for the Workforce 

The number of new college graduates who believe their program helped prepare them for the workforce increased from 51% to 66% this year, but their satisfaction with college isn’t motivating them to return to school. Just 18% said they plan to continue their education after graduation, down from 39% in 2021. More than two-thirds (69%) said COVID-19 increased the importance of work-life balance, and the number planning to take time off tripled, from 6% in 2021 to 18%. “After more than two years of experiencing college during the pandemic, taking time off after graduation might be a way for some to achieve balance in their life before moving forward with their degree in hand.”

Source: Diverse Education


More Resources

You may also enjoy

Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.