Highlights from Higher Ed: Going Beyond the Standards, Shifting Strategies and Affording Basic Necessities

Jul 14, 2017

1. Standardized tests? These schools can take ‘em or leave ‘em.

“We do not see a strong correlation between standardized test scores and a student’s ability to persist in the class,” said Jon Riester, Hanover College’s vice president for enrollment management, when speaking about the College’s decision to implement a “test flexible” admissions policy. Nearly 1,000 public and private accredited institutions across the nation have such a policy, indicating a clear move towards increasing value put on the noncognitive components of the college application.

2. Smaller applicant pools mean a shift in recruitment marketing strategies.

Liberal arts colleges are facing falling enrollment, leading many to expand their recruitment marketing focus to international students while offering more financial aid and a greater range of majors in high-demand fields like data analytics. “There’s a cultural shift to which the campus has to respond,” shared Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones in this Washington Post article. Can colleges keep up?

3. Turns out we’re not the only ones with crushing student debt.

The U.S.’s average student loan debt of $37,172 is pretty crushing, but we’re not the only ones who are burdening those who seek the opportunities of higher education with overwhelming financial baggage. BBC reports that the average amount of debt that students in England graduate with is at £50,800 (or a little over $65,600.00) with interest rates around 6.1%. Eek.  

4. 14% of community college students are homeless.

A new report released by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab offers startling insight into basic needs insecurity in higher education. According to Hungry and Homeless in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education, about half of community college students are housing insecure and 13-14% are homeless — and not because of a lack of effort to attain these basic necessities. Between 31-32% of those experiencing food or housing insecurity are both working and receiving financial aid. What more can we do to support those who need more resources to realize the opportunities presented by higher ed?

Recommended Reading

Tinkering Towards Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform

Has education ever truly been reformed? In this book, David Tyack and Larry Cuban explore the nature of educational reform, seeking to understand why Americans believe education needs change and why it’s been so difficult to make it happen. 




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