Reassessing the College Wage Premium Payoff

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts within the higher education policy space were projecting that four-year colleges could face a loss of up to 20 percent in fall enrollment. While these predictions never materialized, the political infatuation with college enrollment figures is not a new phenomenon. Barack Obama proclaimed the orthodox view of … Continue reading “Reassessing the College Wage Premium Payoff”


Did You Know? COVID-19 Budget Cuts Hit Students and Profs, Not Admins

It only took a global pandemic to force public and private universities to cut their spending. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that about 650,000 jobs were cut in the higher ed sector—a 14 percent decline. An analysis from The Chronicle of Higher Education on the budgets of about 100 top colleges pegged their losses … Continue reading “Did You Know? COVID-19 Budget Cuts Hit Students and Profs, Not Admins”


Did You Know? In 2020, Students Stopped Transferring

Students listened to public health advice for 2020: stay at home. A report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that transfer students fell by 8.1 percent compared to fall 2019. That was more than three times the 2.4 percent decline in overall student enrollment. Rather than make a change in an uncertain environment, … Continue reading “Did You Know? In 2020, Students Stopped Transferring”


University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab

Universities’ profligate spending habits have caught up with them after substantial losses in student enrollments due to COVID-19. As undergraduate enrollment fell by 4.4 percent and students had fewer “on-campus experiences,” universities desperately began laying off employees. Some even have plans to consolidate departments and entire campuses. Those actions spell trouble for the future of … Continue reading “University Administrators’ Pandemic Power Grab”


Did You Know? More Open Seats at NC Colleges This Fall

Since COVID-19 hit, students have taken notice and altered their college plans. Some high school seniors are delaying enrollment until the pandemic has subsided, leaving universities with more openings. This year, according to data collected by Sean Mulholland, an economics professor at Western Carolina University, from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 10 … Continue reading “Did You Know? More Open Seats at NC Colleges This Fall”


Collegiate Esports Programs Are Here to Stay

More money flows to arenas and building upgrades. The hunt for recruits gets more competitive. University presidents brag about how their new program will make the school nationally known. But the cause isn’t basketball or football. This time around, the athletics arms race on campus is for “esports”—competitive video gaming. And it’s a trend driven … Continue reading “Collegiate Esports Programs Are Here to Stay”


The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained

Explaining higher education policy is never easy (even to people who are involved in it). Over the years, while training young writers for the Martin Center, I have come up with a model that has proven useful. One way to produce clarity among the confusion is to apply a model having four basic perspectives rather … Continue reading “The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained”


A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments

A specter is haunting higher education—the specter of declining enrollments. University and college enrollment has fallen nearly 9 percent since 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, and no one is exactly sure why. The decrease is not that obvious yet because the decline follows many decades of tremendous growth in enrollment. On a website … Continue reading “A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments”


Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy

No cliché is more ubiquitous at teacher protests than signs that read, “if you can read this sign, thank a teacher.” That is, unless you disregard variations on the theme of “pay us more.” And yet, student performance on national and international tests suggest that the reading comprehension of most American students does not extend … Continue reading “Teacher Training and the Construction of Illiteracy”


Mitch Daniels Has the Right Stuff for Purdue

Higher education does not produce many flashy, innovating entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Peter Thiel, or Elon Musk. The non-profit, highly subsidized, and low-incentive culture that universities operate in promotes conformity and risk avoidance. Despite that, there are some college leaders who stand out from the rest. Paul LeBlanc, for example, has taken Southern … Continue reading “Mitch Daniels Has the Right Stuff for Purdue”