Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- A New America survey reveals that Americans continue to hold community colleges in high regard: 81 percent of respondents say they are worth the cost. In comparison, 65 percent of those polled agreed public four-year institutions were worth the cost, followed by private colleges and universities (44 percent) and for-profits (40 percent). Despite the positive public perception of community colleges, only a quarter of survey respondents believe that higher education is “fine the way it is,” citing concerns about affordability and employment outcomes. The survey also queried participants about apprenticeships, and 90 percent agreed that apprenticeships and skills training programs prepare students for a good standard of living.
- Undergraduate enrollments for spring 2018 dropped 1.8 percent (275,000 students) when compared to spring 2017. Public two-year colleges saw a 2-percent drop (107,000 students), according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The rate of decrease has slowed: dips in spring-to-spring enrollment were 2.5 percent last year and 3.3 percent in 2016. And when looking at students under age 18, colleges saw a 2.1-percent increase in this age group in spring 2018, compared to a 10.6-percent increase in spring 2017. Public two-year colleges were the only higher education sector to see an increase in this age group this spring.
- The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has five rules to the “college and career game” in its new report. One of the rules: the level of education matters, but the program of study matters more. Another rule? Sometimes, less education can be worth more. “Some certificates pay more than some associate’s degrees, some associate’s degrees pay higher than some bachelor’s degrees,” the report’s authors say. The report also includes median income for different majors and different levels of education.
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