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Too Small to Succeed?
The hard facts of education economics are putting some small colleges at risk
College Towns and COVID-19: The Impact on New England
The abrupt closing of college campuses this spring due to the spread of COVID-19 upended the lives of students and their families and disrupted the higher education sector. The impact of these closures and the questions of whether and how to reopen campuses this fall have been widely discussed. Less attention has been paid to the potential consequences for the local economies of the cities and towns that depend heavily on higher education. This issue is particularly important in New England, where in many communities, colleges and universities are among the largest employers and make an ...
Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes
Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan ...
Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly
Many students are reconsidering their decision to go to college in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, college enrollment is expected to be down sharply as a growing number of would-be college students consider taking a gap year. In part, this pullback reflects concerns about health and safety if colleges resume in-person classes, or missing out on the “college experience” if classes are held online. In addition, poor labor market prospects due to staggeringly high unemployment may be leading some to conclude that college is no longer worth it in this economic environment. ...
Who Values Access to College?
A quantitative model of college enrollment suggests that the value of college access varies greatly across individuals. Forty percent place no value on the option to attend despite large public subsidies, while 25 percent would enroll even without the subsidies. In the model, redirecting public funds from those who attend college irrespective of subsidies to those who don’t attend even with subsidies both preserves college enrollment and improves overall outcomes. While these two groups are clearly visible only in the model, and not in the data, this analysis suggests that more-targeted ...