Highlights from Higher Ed: MBA Earnings Differentials, Campus Protests, Pandemic Disruptions and Free Tuition

David Art
Oct 9, 2021

A Master’s Degree in Biology Gives the Biggest Earnings Boost

Obtaining a master’s degree in biology provides the most significant earnings differential in the workplace — i.e., “the biggest increase in earnings for graduates” compared with those who only hold a bachelor’s degree in the same field. According to a recent study conducted by National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average salary for a worker with a biology bachelor’s degree is $37,182. By contrast, the average salary for those with a master’s degree in biology is $69,353 — an earnings differential of 86.5%. Next on the list are communication disorders sciences ($34,517 vs. $58,890, or 70.6%) and business administration/management ($54,392 vs. $82,372, or 51.4%). The earnings differential in social work is just 36.7% ($35,662 vs. $48,711).

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers

College Leaders are Relatively Unconcerned About Campus Protests

Despite evidence showing a recent rise in the number of U.S. college students who support violence and other intimidation tactics to quiet opposing voices on campus, a survey of 140 senior administrators revealed that student protests are not currently a top concern. Instead, respondents — most of whom were college presidents and vice presidents — are focusing on affordability and student-support issues. “In addition, nearly 60% of respondents said that the possibility of student protesters and counterprotesters clashing on campus was ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely.’” Student protests were deemed a low priority by 92% of private college leaders and by 77% of those running public institutions. Fewer than half of the schools participating in the survey (43%) currently have policies for managing confrontations at protests.

Source: Chronicle of Higher Ed

Black and Latinx Students Were More Likely to Change Plans During Pandemic

Overall, more than one third of U.S. students changed their college plans during the pandemic, but White students were less likely to do so than their Black and Latinx peers. For example, 40% of Black students considered attending less expensive programs, compared with 36% of Latinx and 33% of White students. Black students were also most likely to decide to attend schools closer to home: 37% made that choice, as did 33% of Latinx and 29% of White students. The top two reasons “disrupted students” cited for not continuing their education at the moment were “feelings of stress, anxiety and uncertainty” (39%) and financial pressures (26%).

Source: Campus Technology

No Surprise Here: “Free College” Would Have Biggest Effect on Enrollment

Twenty percent of U.S. college students are uncertain of how they will finance their next semester, while almost half (46%) of recently surveyed students and adults said free college would have the biggest impact on their ability to finish or return to school. “Respondents who had dropped out were more likely to state past student debt forgiveness as an impact in returning to school. A close second factor impacting whether students finish their education is the ‘flexibility to take courses online,’” mentioned by 37%. The most common motivation for current and potential students to go to college is to achieve their career and job goals after graduation.

Source: eCampus News

David Art

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