Now that the election has ended, Donald Trump faces new challenges. He must assemble a team, choose a direction, and begin to govern. During his long campaign, he gave a few hints as to how he might change federal education policy. On Wednesday, Trump announced his nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. … Continue reading “Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?”
Many experts believe that the United States is facing a student loan crisis. Total student loan debt now exceeds $1.3 billion—more than total credit card debt for the country. And the average student loan debt at graduation has been growing steadily over the last two decades. But not all students are part of the crisis. … Continue reading “States Should Work to Ameliorate Bad Federal Student Loan Policies”
Back in 2003, Thomas Benton—“the pseudonym of an assistant professor of English at a Midwestern liberal arts college”—wrote a brutally honest article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about graduate programs in the humanities. Citing dismal job prospects for Ph.D. holders, the author’s advice to would-be students was simple: don’t go. Since that article was … Continue reading “The Academic Job Market Is Tottering, But Nobody’s Telling Graduate Students”
Small classes and programs are often praised for offering students more personal attention and one-on-one time with professors. But when programs are too small, students and universities suffer. Students find it difficult to enroll in the courses they need for graduation. Universities spend scarce resources on low-productivity activities. The Pope Center documented the problem two … Continue reading “Online Course Exchanges: Models of Efficiency”
The North Carolina General Assembly’s recently released budget for 2016-17 increases University of North Carolina System appropriations by $168 million, $31 million of which will be dedicated to fund projected enrollment increases. At many of the system’s 16 universities, however, increased funding for such a purpose is unnecessary. Furthermore, the new state higher education budget, … Continue reading “NC’s Latest Higher Ed Budget: More Spending, Less Saving”
Last month, former NC State football player Eric Leak made headlines for giving an unnamed UNC athlete “improper benefits,” in violation of the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA). An article in the Raleigh News & Observer explained that Leak was also accused of defrauding former clients and possibly the Medicaid system. Both are … Continue reading “Enriching the NCAA Through State Law”
Lawmakers returned to Raleigh at the end of April to attend this year’s “short session.” On the agenda are adjustments to the state budget and a few policies left unresolved when legislators adjourned last year. Many of those policies focus on community colleges.
A study of the UNC System’s administration, released last week, recommends realignment of the management of UNC’s 16 universities—mostly to fulfill campus wish lists. But downplayed in the report is the reason for the General Administration’s existence in the first place: to help the disparate schools function more efficiently as a system, in order to serve students better.
UNC President Margaret Spellings has said that the North Carolina legislature’s proposed Guaranteed Admissions Program (NC GAP) has identified the right problem, but has come up with the wrong solution. Her vision is of a UNC system accessible to everyone and educating everyone—not just elites. That vision, however, should include NC GAP, which focuses on access—through the community college system—and success at many educational levels.
At the Pope Center we spend a lot of time recommending changes to higher education policy. It’s in our name. But there are ways you—as a citizen, parent, student, or employer—can pressure higher education to change.