For six years New America has been collecting data on Americans’ views about higher education for its Varying Degrees survey. Surprisingly, despite significant social, cultural, political, and economic changes, there was remarkably little change in views on the value and opportunities provided by higher education. One area that did change was the perception of online education.
MDRC published a policy brief titled Under Audit: Equity Audits in State Higher Education Finance in June 2022. This brief discusses the potential use of equity audits to identify and address inequities in the distribution of state funds to public institutions of higher learning. Community colleges and other broad access public institutions disproportionately enroll students from underserved populations and rely more heavily on state funds.
Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce published a report on Ranking 4,500 Colleges by ROI (2022) using data from the College Scorecard. The rankings include a metric that compares earnings ten years after enrollment with those of workers with a high school diploma as their highest credential.
According to InsideHigherEd.com, a report released by Moody's, Converging Forces Will Squeeze Budgets for Many Colleges and Universities, projects institutional expenses will skyrocket in the 2022-2023 academic year due to wage inflation, labor shortages, and a nationwide hiring push.
Employers have long cited an inadequately skilled workforce as the primary reason jobs go unfilled. However, there is considerable debate over whether a mismatch truly exists between workers' skills and employers' needs. A report from the Congressional Research Service, Skills Gaps: A Review of Underlying Concepts and Evidence, notes the possibility of other contributing factors such as:
The Washington Post recently reported that enrollment at colleges nationwide "has shrunk more than five percent since 2019." However, the impact has been greater on regional colleges and universities that serve disadvantaged students. For example, institutions in the western region of Pennsylvania have been affected by stagnant population growth, the pandemic, and increasing wages that make working a more appealing option than studying.
In response to the results of a review of student mental health, Cornell University decided to reduce the maximum number of credits engineering students can take per semester from 23 to 20.
On February 24, 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau released a table package, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2021, containing statistics on educational attainment by adults 25 years of age and older for the period 2011 to 2021. These statistics cover a range of demographic and social characteristics, including age, sex, and race.
Numerous studies have correlated educational attainment with wealth attainment. Earning at least a bachelor's degree is associated with better economic outcomes, including higher wages and lower rates of unemployment. However, a study by Pew Research Center revealed an economic disparity between first generation college graduates versus those who had at least one college-educated parent.
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics released a report, Higher Education R&D Increase of 3.3% in FY 2020 is the Lowest since FY 2015. From FY 2019 to FY 2020, research and development spending by academic institutions experienced the slowest growth since the four years of decreasing federal funding from FY 2012 to FY 2015.