Highlights from Higher Ed: Test-Optional Policies, MBA Pay Inequity, Free Speech and Transit Aid

David Art
Oct 1, 2021

Most Admissions Officers Want to Maintain Test-Optional Policies and Recruit More Minorities

More than 95% of colleges and universities used test-optional or test-blind admissions processes in 2021, and 75% of admissions officers now want to keep such policies in place indefinitely, according to a recent survey. Researchers also noted that only about one in three admissions professionals said the pandemic had no effect on whom they admitted, while 37% said it had a minor effect on their admissions decisions. “More than 80% of officers say they are very likely to increase recruitment for minority and transfer students, while approximately three-quarters (78%) say the same for full-time undergraduates and first-generation college students. Comparatively, only a quarter (26%) say they are likely to increase recruitment efforts for part-time undergraduates.”

Source: Inside Higher Ed


Women and Minorities with MBAs Still Earn Less

Although the overall gender pay gap among MBA graduates declined from 39% to 20% between 2016 and 2020, it continued to widen for women the longer women they were in the work force. For example, the pay gap for those with less than two years of experience was 9% during that time frame, yet it was 35% among those MBA grads with at least nine years of experience. On average, women with MBAs in 2020 made $29,700 less than their male counterparts; minority women, on average, made $124,522 less. “Overall, women’s enrollment in full-time MBA programs at Forté member schools rose from 33% in 2013 to almost 39% in 2019 while holding steady in 2020, a year when COVID shook up enrollment numbers and application processes at many schools.”

Source: Poets & Quants


Nearly One-Quarter of U.S. College Students Support Violence as a Way to Stifle Free Speech

Freedom of speech appears to be at risk on college campuses, based on the growing number of students who support “shout downs” and violence as acceptable ways to silence the views of those with whom they disagree. According to recent survey of more than 37,000 students “at 159 of America’s largest and most prestigious” institutions, 66% and 23%, respectively, approve of those tactics, up from 59% and 18% last year. “More than 80% of students report self-censoring their viewpoints at their colleges at least some of the time, with 21% saying they censor themselves often. Generally, students showed much greater intolerance for campus speakers with conservative positions. Racial inequality, abortion and gun control top the list of most difficult subjects to discuss.”

Source: The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education


Community College Students Who Received Transportation Assistance Had Better Outcomes

A study of one California community college’s decision to provide transportation assistance to some of its students revealed that beneficiaries of the program experienced better academic outcomes than otherwise comparable non-participants. The $7 “U-Pass” provided by Rio Hondo College gives students unlimited LA Metro transportation, including for non-school purposes such as grocery shopping and going to work. That amounts to a 95% discount relative to typical transportation expenses for the school’s students. “According to the study, students with a U-Pass were five percentage points more likely to enroll at the same institution the following semester and enroll the following year. Students with a U-Pass earned more credits on average, were 17% more likely to earn a credential, and 27% more likely to earn an associate degree.”

Source: Diverse Education

David Art

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