Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- Women represent 56 percent of enrollments at colleges and universities in the U.S., but hold almost two-thirds of the country’s $1.3-trillion student debt, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). They also have a harder time repaying those loans due to the gender pay gap.
- A National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report shows enrollments at postsecondary institutions continue to decline, but at a slower rate than previous years. Overall postsecondary enrollments in spring 2017 decreased 1.5 percent from the previous spring. Two-year public colleges saw a dip of 2.5 percent (138,000 students). Certain majors at community colleges are proving to be popular, though, and seeing increased enrollments: biological and biomedical sciences; foreign languages, literature and linguistics; psychology; history; and basic skills and developmental/remedial education.
- Americans have a positive opinion of community colleges. More than 80 percent of those surveyed in a New America study agree that community colleges contribute to a strong U.S. workforce. New America polled 1,600 Americans ages 18 and older. Eighty-two percent said two-year colleges are worth the cost, and 80 percent believe that the colleges are preparing people for success. That’s compared to 40 percent of survey participants who said for-profits were “worth the cost,” followed by 43 percent for private four-years. Looking at postsecondary education overall, only a quarter surveyed said the higher education system is functioning fine, but 75 percent agree that it’s easier to be successful with a degree than without one.
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