When Should Schools Reopen Fully In-Person?

from Brookings Over the past several months, schools and colleges across the country have had to make heart-wrenching decisions about whether and how to reopen. Should they have any in-person activities? If so, when? And at what point—and with what adjustments—is it safe to return to fully in-person activities? If there is a flare-up in COVID-19 cases, should we scale back in-person activities? The debates over these questions have become rancorous. I argue below that this is because the questions themselves are very difficult to answer, and then offer some ideas on how to make the decisions easier and better. […]

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Why The Move To Online Instruction Won’t Reduce College Costs

from Brookings As COVID-19 swept across the country in March, colleges shuttered and millions of students and instructors were propelled into a world of distance education. Institutional leaders are now grappling with how to provide a quality education over the academic year ahead while also guarding the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Online instruction is a core component of many colleges’ strategies, with a growing number abandoning in-person plans for the fall. Questions about the feasibility, quality, equity, and costs of online instruction sit front and center. Our recent analysis suggests that the difficulty of shifting instruction […]

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What’s The Purpose Of College?

from Forbes Many Americans have begun to ask whether college is worth it. And who’s to blame them? With college tuition rising at astronomical levels, it’s reasonable to think prospective consumers will do a more careful “return on investment” calculation. But instead of asking whether it’s worth it, we’d be better off asking a different question: what’s the purpose of college? Without nailing this answer, it’s impossible to discern whether it will be or was worth it. Even more importantly, being clear about the purpose of college also helps us make the most of it. The problem is that our […]

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The Promise Of Free College (And Its Potential Pitfalls)

from Brookings The price of college is rising, making college feel out of reach for a rising share of Americans. Families can borrow to be sure, but with total student loan debt now above $1 trillion nationally, the situation seems unsustainable. Meanwhile, we face a long-term decline in our international ranking on college attainment and the disparities in college access by race and income—disparities that financial aid and loans are supposed to address—seem larger than ever. It is no surprise then that in the campaign for U.S. President in the 2016 election, nearly all candidates of both major political parties […]

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Should College Come With A Money-Back Guarantee?

from Brookings This fall, colleges across the country will enroll roughly 3 million new students. For many of these students and their families, college will represent a tremendous expense—among the largest of their lifetimes. By the time they graduate, they can expect to have spent more money on their degree than many households in the United States earn in an entire year. And many will have accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Why do so many students keep showing up year after year to pay this high price? Because they believe it will be worth it. They believe […]

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10 Things Every College Professor Hates

from Business Insider I got this email from an Ivy League student when I arrived to give a speech. She was responsible for making sure that I was delivered to my hotel and knew where to go the next day: Omg you’re here! Ahh i need to get my s–t together now lol. Jk. Give me a ring when u can/want, my cell is [redacted]. I have class until 1230 but then im free! i will let the teacher she u will be there, shes a darling. Perhaps ill come to the end of the talk and meet you there […]

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The New Bachelor’s Payoff

from Inside Higher Ed Doubts about the labor-market returns of bachelor’s degrees, while never serious, can be put to rest. Last month’s federal jobs report showed a rock-bottom unemployment rate of 2.8 percent for workers who hold at least a four-year degree. The overall unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. But even that welcome economic news comes with wrinkles. A prominent financial analyst last week signaled an alarm that employers soon may face a shortage of job-seeking college graduates. And the employment report was a reminder of continuing worries about “upcredentialing” by employers, who are imposing new degree requirements on jobs. “Presumably, these educated workers are the […]

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