EDU News Curated by Kiosk: The Future of Enrollment and Other Higher Ed News

Enrollment Challenges

From Kiosk: “The University of the Arts (known as UArts), a Philadelphia institution dating back to the 1870s closed on Friday, June 7, 2024. This announcement is just the latest in a series of closures among higher education institutions in the US. 30 campus closures were found in the last year alone, after nearly 50 the previous year.  Higher education, long perceived as immune to the shifts affecting other industries, is now feeling the impact of various cultural and economic trends. Factors such as demographic changes, cultural perceptions, lack of product differentiation, financial planning challenges, and the rise of cost-efficient mega-institutions are putting immense pressure on smaller colleges, forcing many into consolidation.”
View the full article from Kiosk.


US ends academic year with another wave of closures and cutbacks

From Times Higher Education: “The closures include The University of the Arts, one of the nation’s oldest such institutions, dating back to the 1870s. The university in the center of downtown Philadelphia boasts a list of accomplished alumni, but now has about 1,100 students, down more than 40 percent in a decade. … As college costs have risen and high school graduation rates have headed downward, US higher education has been in an extended crisis of contractions, with at least 30 campus closures last year after nearly 50 the previous year, mostly among smaller private institutions.”
View the full article from Times Higher Education.


This Small College Warned of Imminent Closure. Here’s How It Kept the Lights On.

From The Chronicle: “Lake Erie went begging for relief from its creditors the college also worked on increasing revenue. It beefed up advancement efforts to bring in donations and grants, and got a verbal agreement from donors to remove restrictions on more than $1 million of endowed funds. It signed a deal … to provide ongoing education for teachers. Those courses will come through Lake Erie, giving it more credit hours … the college has also beefed up its admissions recruiting and student retention efforts… It switched food vendors, worked to make the library a better place for group study, and even looked at how much it would cost to do laundry in the residence halls. All of those were complaints students had raised.”

View the full article from The Chronicle.



Is higher education growing or shrinking?

From The Chronicle: “The recent incessant drip of program closures suggests an industry in contraction — and in some ways, that’s the case. But even if it’s true now, it’s taking place against a far larger backdrop of growth. A Chronicle analysis of federal data from more than 2,000 four-year public, private, and for-profit colleges shows no evidence of a significant decline in bachelor’s-degree programs or completions over a 20-year period. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: Between 2002 and 2022, higher-education institutions expanded their number of programs by nearly 23,000, or 40 percent — a period during which undergraduate enrollment grew 8 percent. As enrollment levels off, the growth trajectory of programs may shift, which will become clear as new data become available.”

View the full article from The Chronicle.



FAFSA Fiasco Pushes States to Mandate Universal Completion

From Inside Higher Education: “Such bills, often known as universal FAFSA policies, require students to complete the federal aid form in order to graduate from high school. As of this spring, 15 states had passed some kind of universal FAFSA policy; eight were in effect this past academic year. Recent NCAN data, combined with case studies from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), show that many of those states had the highest (FAFSA) completion rates—and lowest year-over-year dips—despite this year’s bungled rollout. Illinois and Texas, two of the earliest states to implement such a requirement, ranked third and fifth for completion rates as of June 21” 

View the full article from Inside Higher Education.



Divided Over Digital Learning

From Inside Higher Education: “A new report …found a stark disconnect between students’ and instructors’ preferences for how they learn. … While more than half of professors selected in-person learning as their favorite modality for teaching, only 29 percent of students prefer learning face-to-face, the 2024 ‘Time for Class’ report found. A similar share of students, 28 percent, said they favor hybrid learning, a mixture of face-to-face and online learning—which marks an increase of six percentage points since 2023. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who prefer asynchronous online learning has decreased.”

View the full article from Inside Higher Education.



Professors Ask: Are we just grading robots?

From The Chronicle: “The tension surrounding generative AI in education shows no signs of going away… The difference in attitudes among faculty members probably depends in part on their responsibilities in the classroom. Teaching a large general education or introductory course comes with a different set of goals and challenges than teaching an upper-level seminar. A STEM professor may encourage students to use AI to polish their writing if that helps them better articulate scientific concepts. But a humanities professor might balk, since clear and coherent writing is central to mastering the discipline. Differing approaches may also depend on rank: Tenured professors who teach fewer classes have the ability to explore and experiment with AI tools in the way that a busy adjunct does not.”

View the full article from The Chronicle.



While women outnumber men on campus, their later earnings remain stuck

From NPR: “The number of college-educated women in the workforce has now overtaken the number of college-educated men, according to the Pew Research Center. While this would seem to have significant implications for society and the economy — since college graduates make more money over their lifetimes than people who haven’t finished college — other obstacles have stubbornly prevented women from closing leadership and earnings gaps. Women still earn 82 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by men, Pew reports — a figure that is nearly unchanged since 2002.”

View the full article from NPR.



PhDs for everyone will not improve academia

From Times Higher Education: “The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2022 Education at a Glance report suggests that the number of doctorates in the 38 OECD member countries has doubled this century, to the point that it averages 1.3 percent of adults over 25. In the US alone, there are now 4.5 million people with doctorates: again, double the number in 2000. Put differently, that amounts to a ‘doctoral nation’ roughly the size of Scotland. … Many would argue that it is a professional training in research, but it isn’t a training in the normal life of an academic. While others were doing doctorates, from the age of 22 I was learning to do pastoral care, administration, communication and course design.”

View the full article from Times Higher Education.



Degree? Yes. Job? Maybe not yet.

From The Washington Post: “Millions of new college graduates are entering the workforce just as entry-level job prospects are fizzling. Despite the strong labor market, it’s becoming tougher for newcomers to break in. Hiring is slowing, especially for recent graduates, with coveted white-collar employers pulling back on new postings. Just 13 percent of entry-level job seekers found work in the past six months, down from a 2022 peak of 20 percent, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis of Commerce Department data. … As a result, the U.S. unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds has climbed sharply in the past year, from 6.3 percent to 7.9 percent as of May — the largest annual increase in 14 years, excluding the early shock of the pandemic.”

View the full article from The Washington Post.



Trump proposes giving green cards to all noncitizen college graduates. His campaign says only after they are vetted

From ABC News: “Former President Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday clarified his immigration proposal to give green cards to all noncitizen college students who graduate from American universities, arguing there would be an ‘aggressive vetting process.’ ‘He believes, only after such vetting has taken place, we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America,’ Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, said in a statement to ABC News on Friday. ‘This would only apply to the most thoroughly vetted college graduates who would never undercut American wages or workers.’”
View the full article from ABC News.

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