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Post-Secondary Education

Here you will find reports/research and articles covering a wide range of topics dealing with colleges/universities, technical colleges and other after-high school issues. Posting here does not imply Georgia Partnership endorsement. Entries go back to 2016.  Broken links should be reported here.

Current Post-Secondary news provided by Education Dive

June 11
June 9 – Weekend Edition
June 8

Additional Post-Secondary Education Resources

Atlanta Regional Council for Higher EducationBoard of Regents University System of Georgia Chronicle of Higher EducationDiverse Issues in Higher EducationGeorgia Budget and Policy Institute: HOPE Scholarships at a Glance and Higher EducationGeorgia Partnership’s November 2015 Critical Issues Forum: “Closing the Higher Education Attainment Gap”Georgia Student Finance Commission: GAfuturesGeorgia Trend’s Georgia Higher Education DirectoryHispanic Organization Promoting Education (HoPe)Inside Higher EducationTrends in Higher Education (College Board)



Sharing the Risk in Higher Education
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Institutions take on significant risks by when choosing to admit at-risk students. The authors argue that any risk-sharing policies that seek to punish institutions for negative student outcomes, rather than incentivize increased success, would offer an additional disincentive to take on these students, widening the access gap. Introduction. Related story. (June 7)

The Permanent Detour – Underemployment’s Long-Term Effects on the Careers of College Graduates
Burning Glass Technologies

For students and parents, having a graduate take a job that might appear beneath his or her qualifications might beat the alternative in an especially tight job market. But this study suggests that graduates who take such jobs pay a lasting price. Introduction. Related story. (May 24)

Five Rules of the College and Career Game
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

This report states that “the high school economy is gone and it is not coming back” and that two-thirds of jobs now require workers to have at least some college education. It untangles today’s college and career maze and shows that workers with a bachelor’s degree have median earnings nearly double that of workers with no more than a high school diploma. Introduction. Related story. (May 23)

With Enrollment Declining, Liberal Arts Colleges Struggle to Make a Case for Themselves
Hechinger Report

It’s no surprise that much of the conversation at gatherings of university officials these days is about how to prove the value of the liberal arts, once at the core of higher education and now among its most embattled branches. (May 22)

There is No Such Thing as a Free Higher Education: A Global Perspective on the Realities (Many) of Free Systems
Higher Education Policy

Free tuition policies are rooted in strong philosophical and social traditions but do not necessarily lead to increased access or student success. Related story. (May 18)

You Probably Believe at Least One of These 5 Student Loan Myths – and Here’s the Truth
Business Insider

A decent-paying gig provides a way to handle one constant in post-grad life: student loans. About 40 million Americans are in student loan debt so you’re in good company if you are, too. Just make sure you understand the right way to pay it off. (May 16)

Community Insights – Emerging Benchmarks and Student Success Trends
Civitas Learning

This analysis shows that many students are dropping out of their colleges despite having earned the majority of the credits they need for their degrees. Related story. (May 11)

Making Digital Learning Work – Success Strategies from Six Major Universities (Georgia State!) and Community Colleges
Arizona State University

Online courses are associated with higher retention and graduation rates, increased access and cost savings of as much as 50 percent, according to this study. (April 27)  Related story. Related story.

Not Your Grandaddy’s Vo-tech School
Georgia Trend

Georgia’s technical college system is preparing students for careers and making sure industry has a ready supply of employees. But keeping enrollment numbers up is a challenge. (April 23)


Signature 14 Completing College: A National View of Student Completion Rates – Fall 2011 Cohort
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

This sixth annual report on national college completion rates offers a look at the six-year outcomes of students who began post secondary education in the fall of 2011. Related story. (December 20)

The Economic Impact of Increasing College Completion
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

College completion rates are low.  Programs that help students complete college cost money.  What if we invest in helping more students graduate from college? What would that mean for the American economy? Press release. Related story. (October 30)

Degrees of Opportunity – Lessons Learned from State-Level Data on Postsecondary Earnings Outcomes
American Enterprise Institute

According to this report, many certificate and associate degree programs can be a path to the middle class. Introduction. Related story. (October 25)

Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving the National Postsecondary Degree Attainment Goals
Education Testing Service – ETS

(Executive summary) The all too familiar narrative of racial and ethnic gaps in educational attainment will persist well into the 21st century unless “targeted and tailored” strategies are implemented for underrepresented groups. Related story. (October 24)

Seeking Support:  State Financial Aid Programs and Adult Students and 50 State Comparison: Adult Inclusion in State Financial Aid Policies
Education Commission of the States (ECS)

Most of the largest financial aid programs don’t account for the unique circumstances of adult learners (2 in 5 college students) and this could shut them out of post secondary opportunities.  ECS has researched this are and now offers these two resources. Related Georgia story. (October 24)

Many Miles to Go – Filling the Middle Skills Gap
Education’s Next Horizon

This report, although focused on Louisiana, has Georgia relevance. Many jobs require education past secondary work but not a 4-year degree. Are we producing enough skilled workers for these jobs? Relating report:  Change Education Outcomes and Fill the Middle Skills Gap. (October 17)

The New, Improved Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPED)
Inside Higher Education

This system used to determine the national graduation rate has been under attack for a while. A revision of IPEDs may result in improvements. (October 16)

The Rural Higher-Education Crisis
The Atlantic

When it comes to college enrollment, students in Middle America – many of them white – face an uphill battle against economic and cultural deterrents. (October 4)

Suicide Prevention on College Campuses
Education Commission of the States – Blog

Suicide is the second largest cause of death between college-age students 20-24.  How effective are prevention programs now in place on campuses? (September 27)

Single Mothers in College: Growing Enrollment, Financial Challenges, and the Benefits of Attainment
Institute for Women’s Policy Research

The numbers of single mothers is growing and so is the number of single moms enrolling in post secondary institutions. Press release. Related story. (September 22)

Hidden in Plain Sight – Understanding Part-Time College Students in America
Center for American Progress

This report reveals that part-time students are often overlooked by colleges, policy makers and researchers who are looking to increase college attainment. Related story. (September 11)

Digital Literacy in Higher Education, Part II
NMC Horizon Project

By 2020, a third of the skills people will need at work will involve a “blend of technical savvy, creative and complex thinking.  The bottom line of this report:  To be considered digitally literate, learners must be creators, using digital tools to make their creations. Related story – Time for digital reboot in college. (September 7)

Higher Goals for Higher Education
Georgia Trends

A Question and Answer with University of System Chancellor Steve Wrigley who is focused on keeping quality up and costs down. (September 5)

A Lost Decade in Higher Education Funding  – State Cuts Have Driven Up Tuition and Reduced Quality
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A decade since the Great Recession, state funding to public colleges and universities remains well below historic levels, despite recent increases. (August 28)

The Economic Impact of the University System of Georgia Institutions on Their Regional Economies in FY 2016
Commissioned by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

The statewide impact of the University System of Georgia institutions in fiscal year 2016 includes: * $16.8 billion in output (sales); * $11.3 billion in gross regional product; * $8.2 billion in income; 157,967 full- and part-time jobs (3.6 percent) of all jobs in Georgia. Related story – subscription may be required. (August 23)

Georgia Higher Education Data Book
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

This guide is designed to provide a demographic snapshot of Georgia’s colleges at the outset of the 2017-2018 school year, with insight into the forces that shape Georgia’s approach to higher education policy. Introduction. (August 22)

Major Matters Most – The Economic Value of Bachelor’s Degrees (from the University of Texas System)
University of Texas System/Georgetown University – Center on Education and the Workforce

This report analyzes the economic ramifications of a student’s college choice, finding that the major the student selects may be more predictive of greater economic success than the particular college in which they have enrolled. Related story. (August 15)

40% of 2-Year College Grads Earn a Bachelor’s
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Among community college graduates who hold no previous degrees or certificates, 41 percent earn a bachelor’s degree over the next six years. Related story. (August 10)

Nearly Half of Prospective College Students Don’t Expect to Graduate
Education Dive

A pair of recently released surveys suggest that at least half of high school students don’t feel academically prepared for college and half of the students entering post secondary work fear they will not graduate. (August 10)

The Complex Universe of Alternative Post Secondary Credentials and Pathways
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

While alternative pathways and credentials have gained momentum in the last few years, evidence of return to students is scant and “quality assurance” is weak. Introduction. Related story. (August 8)

Georgia Home to Some of Nation’s Most Affordable Community Colleges
Georgia Trend

According to a recent story, Georgia has some of the most affordable community colleges in the U.S. (August 8)

ACT for All:  The Effect of Mandatory College Entrance Exams on Post Secondary Attainment and Choice
University of Connecticut – Department of Public Policy

This research finds that a simple strategy can modestly raise the share of poor students going on to college – require and pay for the ACT and SAT tests.  Related story. (July 17)

Rethinking Consumer Information in Higher Education
The Urban Institute

Providing better information on college quality to students and their families has long been a goal of higher education.  This three-year study looks at outcomes including findings of little interest in earnings data by prospective students. Abstract. Related story. (July 17)

Career Pathways: Five Ways to Connect College and Careers
Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce

This study calls for states to help students, families and employers unpack the meaning of post secondary credentials and assess their value in the labor market. Introduction. Press release. Related story. (July 11)

Varying Degrees – Is Higher Education Measuring Up?
New America

Americans believe in the tremendous potential of higher education—but they also feel that higher education is falling short of that promise. New America’s inaugural survey reveals a stark expectations gap between what higher education could—and should—be and what higher education currently is. Introduction. Related story. (May 17)

Putting Your Major to Work: Career Paths After College
The Hamilton Project

Students’ career paths after college are often surprising and difficult to predict given students’ majors. Not only do students from the same major transition into a surprising variety of occupations, they also earn very different incomes. Related story. (May 12)

The 20% Solution: Selective Colleges Can Afford to Admit More Pell Grant Recipients
Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce

Roughly 86,000 Pell Grant recipients score at or above the median on standardized tests for students at selective colleges but do not attend those institutions. Related story. (May 4)

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates by Race and Ethnicity – Fall 2010 Cohort
National Student Clearinghouse

College completion rates vary widely along racial and ethnic lines, with black and Hispanic students earning credentials at a much lower rate than white and Asian students do. Introduction.  Related story. (April 27)

Post Secondary Success Begins in High School
Chronicle of Higher Education

More than half of incoming community-college students, and approximately 20 percent of incoming students at four-year institutions, are academically unprepared when they arrive on campus. (April 6)

The Labor Market Returns to Sub-Baccalaureate College: A Review
Center for Analysis of Post Secondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE)

This paper and accompanying brief review recent evidence on the labor market returns to credit accumulation, certificates, and associate degrees from community colleges. Brief. Related story. (April 3)

Annual Counseling Survey
Assn. of Univ. & Col. Counseling Center Directors

More than half of the college students who visited their campus counseling centers during the 2015-16 academic year reported symptoms of anxiety according to this survey. Related story. (March 31)

Hungry and Homeless in College – Results from a National Study of Basic Need Insecurity in Higher Education
Wisconsin HOPE Lab

The report surveyed more than 33,000 students at 70 two-year institutions in 24 states and found that two-thirds struggle with food insecurity, half are housing insecure, one-third are regularly hungry and 14 percent are homeless. Related story. (March 16)

Making Ends Meet – The Role of the Community College in Student Financial Health
Center for Community College Student Engagement

This report reveals that nearly half of community college students reported that a lack of finances could cause them to withdraw from their institutions. Related story. (February 22)

Aiding Success – The Role of Federal and State Financial Aid in Supporting California Community College Students
Association of Community College Trustees

This report documents the variation in student graduation and transfer rates by students’ financial situation. Related story. (February 15)

Undergraduate Degree Earners – First-time Graduates and Graduates with Prior Awards
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

The number of students earning their first undergraduate degree in 2015-16 (first-time graduates) was 2,246,233, a decline of 1.4 percent compared to 2014-15. Introduction. (February 10)

We Don’t Know How Many Students Aren’t Ready for College.  That Matters.
Hechinger Report

Each year, when they get to campus, more than half a million American college students have to take so-called remedial or developmental education classes to teach them basic math and English skills they should have learned in high school. And that’s not even the full story. (January 30)

Mobility Report Card: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility
Equality of Opportunity Project

Although students who come from wealthy backgrounds are far more likely to attend highly selective colleges than students from poor families, rich and poor students who go to the same college will achieve equal financial success. Related story. (January 25)

Georgia Higher Learning and Earnings (GHLE) Dashboard
The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

This is a new report and interactive website detailing earning outcomes for degrees and certificates obtained at Georgia’s public postsecondary educational institutions.  (January 4)


Closing the College Gap – A Roadmap to Postsecondary Readiness and Attainment (Also posted in Secondary section)

The report analyzes new longitudinal data to link the progress made in raising high school graduation rates to what is known about college readiness, access and persistence; the best indicators of a students’ postsecondary success; and the necessary and complementary roles that both the K-12 and higher education systems must play to raise educational attainments and close opportunity gaps. Press releaseRelated story. (December 12)

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2010 Cohort
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

This fifth annual report on national college completion rates offers a look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2010, toward the end of the Great Recession. Introduction. Related story. (December 6)

Knocking at the College Door – Projections of High School Graduates
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

The steady growth in high school graduates that led to significant expansion of higher education in the United States in recent decades is coming to an abrupt halt. IntroductionPress releaseExecutive summary. Related story. (December 6)

FAFSA Completion Rates in 68 U.S. Cities for High School Class of 2015
National College Access Network

Ninety percent of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA proceed directly to college, versus only 55 percent who don’t complete the FAFSA. So how good are high school FAFSA completion rates in cities and school districts in the United States? Related story. (December 5)

Connecting College Students to Alternative Sources of Support
RAND Corporation

As community colleges across the nation struggle to improve completion rates, this study of an innovative effort providing students with a comprehensive range of support services finds the potential to improve college outcomes. Related story. (November 30)

The Promise and Peril of Predictive Analytics in Higher Education
New America

This report describes how predictive analytics are used in higher education to identify students who need extra support, steer students in courses they will do well in, and provide digital tools that can customize the learning process for individual students. Introduction. Related story. (November 22)

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education – Key Data Highlights Focusing on Race and Ethnicity and Promising Practices
U.S. Department of Education

A bachelor’s degree can be one of the surest pathways to economic advancement, but this report indicates that access to that opportunity has grown increasingly unequal over the past few decades. Related story. (November 22)

Preparing Students for Success in California’s Community Colleges
Public Policy Institute of California

The vast majority of students entering California’s community colleges are identified as unprepared for college and placed in remedial courses, known as developmental education. Related story. (November 11)

Post-Secondary Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2020
Lumina Foundation

Transformative changes are needed to reach Goal 2025 and ensure a majority of Americans achieve the postsecondary learning so important for success in the 21st century. IntroductionPress releaseRelated story.

What Will They Learn? A Survey of Core Requirements at Our Nation’s Colleges and Universities
American Council of Trustees and Alumni

This study indicates the vast majority of colleges and universities are failing to teach their students core disciplines necessary for success in the workplace and the maintenance of a free and self-governing republic. IntroductionRelated story. (October 13)

Report: Hunger On Campus – The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students
Students Against Hunger

A significant number of college students – 22 percent – have very low levels of food security, which makes classroom performance at risk. Executive summaryRelated story. (October 7)

Student Agenda for Post Secondary Reform
Young Invincibles

This argues that a ban on collection of student-level data by the Depart of Education prevents policy makers and students from understanding which college majors and programs have the best outcomes in terms of salary, job placement and loan repayment. Introduction. Related story. (October 6)

Time to Degree:  A National View of Time Enrolled and Elapsed for Associate and Bachelor’s Degree Earners
National Student Clearing House Research Center

This report examines time to degree completion for a cohort of students who earned an associate degree as their first and only postsecondary degree or a bachelor’s degree as their first four-year degree between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. IntroductionRelated story. (September 22)

Georgia – Your Talents, Your Future
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Supply and demand for jobs in Georgia aren’t always aligned. Some students graduate with degrees or certifications in areas that are in low demand by employers. Alternatively, many employers are eager to hire talent but have trouble finding applicants with the right degrees or skill sets. Related story. (September 13)

The Effects of Rurality on College Access and Choice
Texas Tech University

Students from rural areas have a history of lower educational attainment at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels, yet this population remains understudied. This study seeks to update past studies of rural youth by examining college attendance and choice decisions for students from non-metropolitan counties. Abstract.  (August 31)

Supplementing the Bachelor’s Degree
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

During the Great Recession, there was a slight increase in the percentage of bachelor’s degree earners who opted to continue their educations at two-year institutions. However, that percentage has now dropped well below pre-recession levels. Introduction. Related story. (August 26)

How Late is Too Late – Myths and Facts About the Consequences of Switching College Majors

This study of tens of thousands of college students finds that those who were open to change their major were more likely to graduate than those who decided right away. Related story. (August 26)

America’s Divided Recovery – College Haves and Have-nots – 2016
Georgetown University – Center on Education and the Workforce

The jobs recovery deepens the economic and political divide between workers with and without a college education.  This report finds that over 95% of the jobs created in the recovery have gone to those with education beyond a high school education. Introduction. Related story. (July 6)

Momentum: The Academic and Economic Value of a 15-Credit First Semester Course Load fort College Students in Tennessee
Community College Research Center

Many students fail to complete college because the pathways they take through college are not optimal. One example is that their initial course loads are often too low. Abstract. Related story. (July 6)

Higher Education, an American Star
Dr. Beheruz Sethna

Long-time Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education Board member and President Emeritus, University of West Georgia, in this powerful and thorough TEDx presentation, describes the transformative value of higher education in America today. (June 7)

Why Performance-Based College Funding Doesn’t Work
The Century Foundation

This argues that performance-based funding models are reinforcing disparities within higher education and doing little to move the needle on completion. Thirty-two states have funding systems that allocate money to institutions based on performance measures. (May 31)

Funding Down, Tuition Up – State Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Quality and Affordability at Public Colleges
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Years of cuts in state funding for public colleges and universities have driven up tuition and harmed students’ educational experiences by forcing faculty reductions, fewer course offerings, and campus closings. Related story. (May 20)

On the Verge – Tradeoffs Facing Community College Students
The Institute for College Access and Success

Even in California, where community college tuition is the lowest in the country and waived for all students with financial need, the financial obstacles to low-income students’ success are high and widespread. Related story. (April 18)

Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States – 2016 Historical Trend Report
Pell Institute

This report examines trends in post-secondary enrollment in the U.S. by family income, race/ethnicity, and family socioeconomic status. Related story.  (April 21)

Two-Year Grads Satisfied With Cost of Degree

Bachelor’s degrees are still more common in the U.S. than associate degrees, but the typically less expensive two-year degrees have become increasingly popular in the past decade as college costs have skyrocketed. (April 13)

Meandering Toward Graduation – Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates
The Education Trust

Forty-seven percent, or almost half, of American high school graduates complete neither a college- nor career-ready course of study — defined here as the standard 15-course sequence required for entry at many public colleges, along with three or more credits in a broad career field such as health science or businessIntroduction. Related story. (April 5)

The College and Career Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates

For more than a decade, Achieve has issued an annual 50-state report on each state’s adoption of college- and career-ready (CCR) policies as reflected in state standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems. Press release. Introduction.  (March 14)

Great Jobs, Great Lives – Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report
Gallup – Purdue University

Is college worth it?  This is what graduates say. (February 2016)

On Track: Redefining Readiness in Education and Workplace

This new white paper introduces three “readiness models” designed to gauge students’ preparedness for college and workforce success. Related story. (February 2016)

Completion and Transfer Success of High-Achieving Community College Students
Mississippi State University/Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Two new studies suggest many colleges may be too quick to write off low-income students and community college transfers. Money and extra support change the equation, at least for some. Related story (story contains link to second study). (February 2016)

Answering the Call:  Institutions and States Lead the Way Toward Better Measures of Postsecondary Performance
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This report looks at how some states and colleges are using data to improve student graduation and retention rates. The foundation said the report is based on a decade’s worth of lessons learned. Related story. (February 2016)

Education Deserts – The Continued Significance of “Place” in the Twenty-First Century
American Council on Education/Center for Policy Research and Strategy

Most public college students enroll within 50 miles of home, so location is more influential than policy makers think.  Related story. (February 2016)

The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015 – Students from Low-Income Families
ACT – National Council for Community & Education Partnership

Roughly one in four of the 1.9 million high school students who graduated in 2015 and took the ACT are from low-income backgrounds, meaning their annual family incomes are less than $36,000. This group continues to lag in college readiness. (February 2016)

Corequisite Remediation: Spanning the Completion Divide – Break Through Results Fulfilling the Promise of College Access for Underprepared Students
Complete College America

This report gives a first look at how pairing additional resources with introductory college courses can help students who need remediation. Related story (January 2016)

Turning the Tide – Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions
Making Caring Common Project – Harvard Graduate School of Education

The report includes concrete recommendations to reshape the college admissions process and promote greater ethical engagement among aspiring students, reduce excessive achievement pressure, and level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students. Executive summary.  Press releaseRelated story. (January 2016)

Tracking Transfer: New Measures of Institutional and State Effectiveness in Helping community college Students Attain Bachelor’s Degrees
Community College Research Center – The Aspen Institute

This report is designed to help improve transfer student outcomes by helping institutional leaders and policymakers better understand current outcomes and providing them with metrics for benchmarking their performance. AbstractPress release. Related story. (January 2016)