February 20, 2013, 11:12 am
This month the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents heard from Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council of Education, who spoke about “Higher Education at the Crossroads: Multiple Challenges, Innovation and Learning.” Then she gave a similar talk, which I moderated, at the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, this time to faculty, staff, and students.
I’m grateful to her for joining us, and I’d like to show her the respect of fully engaging with her comments.
Let’s begin with Broad’s assessment of higher education.
- The economic strains facing colleges are intense: the slow economic recovery and new political pressures from the federal government and the states; the increasing number of low-income students who need support. Colleges can no longer raise tuition by ever-larger amounts. As a result, more and more are…
February 11, 2013, 2:00 pm
“There’s no such thing as free money,” Joanne, a middle-aged African-American mother of two sitting across the table from me declared. “But for me, getting this college degree depends on whether I have enough money to afford it.”
Solving the problem of college affordability lies at the heart of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s $3.3 million Reimagining Aid Delivery & Design project, which has spurred a series of reports covered weekly in the news this year. While the reports run the gamut of possible suggestions, from tying aid to students’ academic backgrounds to replacing the Pell Grant with a federal-state matching grant, they all have a similar refrain: Whatever the solution, it must be cheaper—it simply isn’t possible to request any additional spending.
Similarly, when I visit Washington policy makers and talk about the needs of the Pell Grant recipients …
September 13, 2012, 3:49 pm
Increasing national college-completion rates, especially among students of color, is a notoriously difficult challenge. Despite decades of research, we have identified very few cost-effective interventions. So imagine my surprise when late last month I read an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that called on President Obama to promote college attainment among African-Americans by opening “private-school doors for low-income students.”
Incredibly, a study by the authors had supposedly found that the effects of vouchers on college attendance are “unusually large,” especially for African-Americans. For those students, a voucher for private schools “has a much larger impact than does exposure to an effective teacher,” Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson concluded in their report, “The Effects of School Vouchers on College Enrollment: Experimental Evidence From New York …