What Is the Actual Value of a Master’s Degree?

In the past 20 years, the number of students earning a master’s degree has more than doubled. Over 42 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients now go on to earn their master’s. This degree proliferation raises a serious question: Are master’s degrees on track to become the new bachelor’s? If so, the extra years of schooling … Continue reading “What Is the Actual Value of a Master’s Degree?”


Arts Everywhere: Distracting from a UNC Scandal

Although the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s former chancellor, Carol Folt, will mostly be remembered for the numerous scandals and years-long protests on campus during her tenure, she also leaves behind other less-publicized, but still controversial, projects. One of those projects she oversaw is Arts Everywhere, a “campus-wide arts initiative supported by the … Continue reading “Arts Everywhere: Distracting from a UNC Scandal”


Colleges Should Stop Forcing Students to Live On-Campus

A long-time practice for many private universities has been to require most freshmen and sophomores to live in campus residence halls. State-supported public universities, too, have copied their private counterparts in recent years. However, doing so drives up the cost of education and restricts the constitutional rights of public university students—all in the name of … Continue reading “Colleges Should Stop Forcing Students to Live On-Campus”


Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses

It can be tempting for college leaders to focus solely on data that support their policy initiatives—to the exclusion of other relevant information. Unfortunately, intentionally or not, University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings seems to have given in to this temptation. At Spellings’ last meeting of the UNC Board of Governors with her … Continue reading “Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses”


Parents, Student Loans, and Government: An Unhealthy Mix

Parent PLUS is not typically the loan program making headlines when student loans are in the news. But over the past several years, it has become a central part of America’s higher-education financing system. Under Parent PLUS, parents can borrow freely—with no limit—from the federal government to support their children’s education. Government programs without significant … Continue reading “Parents, Student Loans, and Government: An Unhealthy Mix”


Why Does North Carolina Keep Bailing Out ECU’s Medical School?

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has been bailed out by the state to stay afloat, but it’s hard to say how, exactly, North Carolina has benefited by doing so. The difficulty in evaluating the school comes from a lack of transparency, oversight, and clear results. Funding that began as a temporary … Continue reading “Why Does North Carolina Keep Bailing Out ECU’s Medical School?”


What We Would Like to See in the New Year

It’s been a remarkable year for higher education. We ranked the most important events of 2018 in last week’s article. But now it’s time to look ahead. Here is what members of the Martin Center staff would like to see happen in academia in 2019.   Jenna A. Robinson, President More States Adopting Due Process … Continue reading “What We Would Like to See in the New Year”


The 10 Most Important Higher Education Events of 2018

This year has been a turbulent one for higher education. From #MeToo to academic hoaxes, colleges and universities across the country have had to grapple with new problems that continue to shake individuals’ confidence in higher education. Here are the ten events we think have been the most significant: Jenna A. Robinson, President 1. Purdue … Continue reading “The 10 Most Important Higher Education Events of 2018”


Income Share Agreements Offer a Promising Alternative to Federal Loans

College is expensive. Even in today’s deeply divided political climate, all Americans seem to agree on that. But while most, if not all, Americans agree that student loan debt is a big problem, the proper role of the federal government in distributing loans remains hotly contested. A solution could lie in offering a more attractive … Continue reading “Income Share Agreements Offer a Promising Alternative to Federal Loans”


Public Universities Exploit Eminent Domain Powers with Little Oversight

Colleges tend to expand beyond their original missions by hiring more administrators and creating new programs. But they can also expand physically by exercising power usually reserved for state and federal governments. When that happens, universities can abuse their power and undermine the public good. For a prime example of this expansion, look at how … Continue reading “Public Universities Exploit Eminent Domain Powers with Little Oversight”