Highlights from Higher Ed: Fewer Degree Earners, Doubts about College, ChatGPT, Elite Tuition Hikes

Mar 22, 2023

Number of undergrads who earned a degree fell for the first time since 2012

The number of college students earning an undergraduate degree each year had been rising steadily for most of the past decade, but that trend has come to an end. In 2022, the number of graduating undergrads fell by 1.6%, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The ranks of bachelor’s degree earners fell 2.4%, while the number of those who earned an associate degree declined 7.6%. Last year also marked the first time in 10 years that the number of students who earned a second degree dropped; 2.5% fewer associate degree holders went on to complete a bachelor’s degree. At the same time, the number of first-time certificates earners rose 9%. “The steepest decline in completion across degree types, the NSCRC report found, was among older or adult learners. Degree earners aged 25 and up dropped by 4.1%, compared with a 1% decline for 18- to 25-year-olds.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Most young adults would skip college for the right job

Parents are still pushing their children to go to college, but many young adults are questioning the value of a traditional undergraduate education — particularly as it relates to preparing them for a career. A new survey revealed that while 48% of young adults were expected to attend college, 50% doubt that education is worth the expense. Three in four respondents (76%) said they would skip college if they could land their dream job right out of high school. “Sixty-six percent of degreed young adults believe that real workforce training is the most crucial element to preparing for a successful career. At the same time… ‘having a clear idea of what a job is like,’ ‘real workforce training,’ and ‘quality time with industry professionals’ [are] the top three elements missing from a college education.” Nearly half of those (49%) who have earned a degree appear to agree, saying that higher education fails to address the development of important workforce skills.

Source: eCampus News

Most colleges lack guidelines for the use of ChatGPT

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) program capable of creating essays and other pieces of writing that appear to have been drafted by humans, has the potential to upend traditional learning and teaching processes. Yet most U.S. colleges and universities have so far failed to create guidelines for its used by students and faculty: Only 14% have done so since the introduction of ChatGPT late last year. Generally speaking, faculty at private colleges are more likely than their peers at public schools to give their institutions high grades for efforts to regulate ChatGPT. Fears of students using ChatGPT to cheat are greatest at community colleges, where “faculty were more likely to say that students’ unattributed use of ChatGPT was a major problem compared to their counterparts at other institutions.” The rapid evolution of ChatGPT and similar types of AI is “seemingly outpacing colleges’ ability to regulate their use in classrooms.”

Source: Higher Ed Dive

The nation’s top colleges are jacking up prices — to $80,000+ per year in some cases

It will cost students significantly more to attend some of the country’s elite colleges next year. Last month, Stanford University announced that it was raising tuition for the 2023-2024 academic year 7%. As a result, the total annual cost of attending will surpass $82,000. Duke University’s decision to raise undergraduate tuition 4.9% — to more than $63,000 — means that the overall price for a year of school there will exceed $83,000. “Yale University’s term bill, which includes tuition, room, and board, will increase by 3.9% from $80,700 to $83,880. Tuition will be $64,700, and housing and meals for students who live on campus will be $19,180.” While announcing the higher prices, each of those institutions also noted that they will continue to provide financial aid and scholarships to those who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend.

Source: Forbes


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