Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans

The federal government has grown in importance for higher education for decades. The most long-lasting effect could be its status as the lender of first resort for student loans. The vast majority of federal spending on colleges and universities comes in the form of making loans, dwarfing all other activities. Of the $120 billion supplied … Continue reading “Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans”


Pro/Con: Is Food Insecurity on Campus a Problem?

Campus Food Insecurity Matters Food insecurity among American college students is a significant problem. While outdated stereotypes of higher education presume that undergraduates live on campus, receive stipends from their parents, and gorge themselves in campus dining halls, the facts suggest the opposite. Only 15.6 percent of today’s students reside on a college campus, at … Continue reading “Pro/Con: Is Food Insecurity on Campus a Problem?”


Did You Know? As Tuition Goes Up, Some Colleges Freeze or Cut Prices

Private colleges that compete with public schools are scrambling to find a way to keep attracting students. To do so, freezing or lowering tuition rates have grown in popularity to bring in cost-conscious young people. Colleges such as St John’s in Maryland and New Mexico, Wells College in New York, and Utica College in New … Continue reading “Did You Know? As Tuition Goes Up, Some Colleges Freeze or Cut Prices”


Christian Colleges Are Worth the Investment

Editor’s Note: This article is a response to a December Martin Center article on Christian colleges and student debt. In his recent article, “Are Christian Colleges Worth the Debt Burden?” Douglas Oliver argues that Christian colleges have a responsibility to reduce the tuition they charge their students to avoid excessive borrowing. He invokes a version … Continue reading “Christian Colleges Are Worth the Investment”


Pension Spiking at North Carolina Colleges: An $8 Million Bill for the Public

In 2014, the North Carolina legislature passed a law to curb “pension spiking” among public employees. Pension spiking is when a worker dramatically increases their compensation at the end of their career to boost their pension (usually by converting benefits such as vacation or sick time pay), which creates a liability in the pension fund. … Continue reading “Pension Spiking at North Carolina Colleges: An $8 Million Bill for the Public”



Court Decision Erases a Huge Student Debt—Is that Good or Bad?

For years, a contentious and sometimes emotionally heated debate has raged over the issue of letting people discharge their student loan debts in bankruptcy. A recent decision opens the door for individuals with high levels of student debt to have their burdens discharged in bankruptcy. Should we cheer? Until 1976, the bankruptcy law made no … Continue reading “Court Decision Erases a Huge Student Debt—Is that Good or Bad?”


The Mess That Is Science Publishing

Researchers have been grumbling about the state of scientific publishing for years. Now, rumor has it that the Trump administration (yes, those science-haters!) may be trying to fix at least one problem: access to reports of government-funded research. The rumored proposal will require free, immediate access to all reports of government-funded scientific research. The rumor … Continue reading “The Mess That Is Science Publishing”


Did You Know? Parental Income Across UNC Schools

The University of North Carolina system boasts a diverse set of institutions. There are many ways in which the 16 schools differ: size, geography, research intensity, curriculum, and student characteristics. They also differ in terms of students’ family income. As part of the Opportunity Insights project at Harvard University, Raj Chetty and a team of … Continue reading “Did You Know? Parental Income Across UNC Schools”


Textbook Math: Students Avoid High Campus Prices, Buy Books Online

As college textbook prices have increased 88 percent since 2006, education reformers wonder how universities can make books more affordable. One simple thing they could do is to stop selling textbooks with absurdly high mark-ups, the difference between the cost incurred by the bookstore for textbooks and the price at which they’re sold. While some … Continue reading “Textbook Math: Students Avoid High Campus Prices, Buy Books Online”