Here are three reports you should know about this month.
- The number of students earning their first undergraduate degree — both associate and bachelor’s degrees — in 2015-16 declined by 1.4 percent from the previous year, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The number of first-time graduates ages 25 and over decreased by 7 percent, while the number of graduates under age 25, saw continued growth in 2015-16: an increase of 1.2 percent compared to the previous year. The report also noted that of students who earned an associate degree in 2015-16, 3.6 percent had previously earned a baccalaureate or higher, 7.4 percent had an associate degree and 8.1 percent already earned a certificate.
- State higher education support is up a modest 3.4 percent nationally from 2015–16 to 2016–17, according to this year’s Grapevine survey. This is without information from Illinois, which at the time of the survey, didn’t have a state budget. Thirty-nine states saw increases anywhere from .2 percent to 10.5 percent. That largest increase was in Hawaii. Ten states reported decreases ranging from .4 percent to 8.8 percent. Wyoming saw the biggest decrease in state funding. Data were collected as part of a joint project of the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
- A Hechinger Report investigation of 44 states found that the majority of public two- and four-year colleges report enrolling students are not ready for college-level work. Data from 911 two- and four-year colleges revealed that 96 percent of schools enrolled students who required remediation in the 2014-15 academic year. At least 209 schools placed more than half of their incoming students in at least one remedial course—that’s at least 569,751 students who were enrolled in remedial classes that year.