Top 10 College Stories of the Month: October 2019 edition
Blog October 10, 2019
After the first month of classes, there are already many changes coming to the framework of higher education. Read more below to learn about the struggles of undocumented students, the most impactful recruitment methods, and other college-related stories.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States spends more per student on college than any other country. These findings suggest that high tuition is not driven by low government funding, but instead by elevated underlying costs. Even though these costs might be a driving factor, they did find spending per student was much lower in countries where the government took over the bill.
Immigration has been an extremely controversial topic for the last few years and is something that affects students and colleges all over the United States. Undocumented students, which includes those with the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), are not eligible to receive federal financial aid because they are not U.S. citizens. With an average of nearly 55% of undergraduates receiving some type of federal financial aid, you can see how this puts those that are ineligible for federal funds at a rather large disadvantage.
How do you get college students to want to come back for more? A new report by Civitas Learning states the programs that correspond with higher retention rates are academic advising meetings, Greek life, supplemental instruction, scholarships, and tutoring. When colleges encourage students to take advantage of extracurricular activities, students’ chances of staying enrolled improve. A system, created by the University of Central Oklahoma, supported this tactic by awarding digital badges to students for participating in events and clubs (and kept a profile of these for future employers).
A new study completed by the Journal of Higher Education reported that one in five students at community and four-year colleges has taken a math course that their high school test scores suggest they don’t need or they have already completed. All too often, students who are ready for college-level math courses are wrongly placed in remedial courses, adding unnecessary time and financial stress to their college journey.
While there are many factors that influence student achievement, a study by The Educational Opportunity Project discovered poverty has a higher impact than race on U.S. achievement gaps. This study also concludes that students of color tend to be concentrated in high-poverty schools, which have very little resources and teachers with less experience. Food insecurity also plays a factor in a student’s success. For example, a student who goes to school hungry and leaves hungry will have a harder time competing with a student who doesn’t have to worry about food.
Students who have completed a four-year degree at community colleges in Canada have been reported to earn an average of 12% more two years after graduation than students who receive a bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution. Despite the positive insight and findings, only half of U.S. states allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. In the U.S., a total of 121 community colleges offer four-year degrees, with three-quarters of their graduates coming from Florida and Washington.
Many students face ongoing obstacles while trying to achieve their degree. Some of these include debt, poor job options, and low self-esteem. Only about 60% of students in the U.S. earn their degrees in 6 years. Most of the time, colleges focus so much on achieving target numbers and increasing enrollment, they tend to neglect what happens next.
In 2015, the Department of Education initiated the Second Chance Pell pilot, which exemplifies the vital role education plays in the inmate rehabilitation process. The recidivism rate, which is the percentage of inmates that are released and return to prison, drops to 30% for individuals who take part in vocational training, 13.7% for participants with an associate degree, and 5.6% for those with a bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and its role in helping incarcerated individuals receive an education.
While an improving economy has many positive effects on the nation, it seems to be having a negative impact on higher education. Even though having a college degree still improves economic mobility, people are opting to go straight into the workforce rather than go to college since finding a job is easier. Not only is the economy playing a role in the decline, but the rising cost of college leads to lower enrollment as well. Find out more about how these go hand-in-hand in the decreased college enrollment.
People no longer want to buy with just their minds, but with their hearts, too. Companies that have a marketing strategy and a brand that aligns with a social mission lead consumers more than those that do not. This tactic greatly applies to community college marketing, as students are not only making their choice about college with their heads, but also their hearts. This method is not only good for students, but also for faculty and staff, as it increases morale and grows a productive work culture.