Weekly Research Digest, 12-4-13

A snapshot of recently released research, reports, surveys, and other findings within the postsecondary education field.

2011-2012 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:12): Price Estimates for Attending Postsecondary Education Institutions
U.S. Department of Education, December 2013

This report presents three measures of the price of attending a college or university for undergraduates during the 2011-2012 academic year. The first measure is the total price of attendance or what may be referred to as the “sticker price.” The second is net price, which is calculated as the price of attendance minus grant aid; and the third is out-of-pocket net price, which “reflects the immediate amount that students and their families need to pay to attend college.” The NPSAS information on average price of attendance puts two-year and above private sector institutions in the middle of the pack—more expensive than community colleges and public four-year institutions, but less expensive than private non-profit four-year institutions. The average price of attendance in 2011-2012 has decreased for private sector institutions since 2007-2008, whereas it has increased for four-year public institutions and private, nonprofit institutions. The net price also follows the same pattern in both respects.

In The News
Inside Higher Ed - "Study: Out-of-Pocket Costs in Most of Higher Education Rising"
Wall Street Journal - "How Much Did College Costs Increase After Recession?"

Workforce Investment Act: Local Areas Face Challenges Helping Employers Fill Some Types of Skilled Jobs
U.S. Government Accountability Office, December 2013

This report was prepared to address the performance of two Department of Labor initiatives: The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the Dislocated Worker programs. Specifically, the report examined how local workforce areas have identified occupations that are in demand and how they have guided participants toward training for them and what challenges local workforce areas have faced in helping employers fill certain jobs.

Key Findings:

  • Local areas used a myriad of sources to identify in-demand occupations including, state job banks, online job postings, and job vacancy surveys, state industry and occupation projections, regional or local industry and occupation projects, regional labor market analyst information, and customized reports.
  • The challenges that local areas faced in guiding participants toward training related to participants’ lack of financial supports such as child care or transportation and their lack of basic skills such as math or reading necessary to participate in training.
  • About 80 percent of employers have difficulty filling middle-skilled jobs.

In The News
Inside Higher Ed - "GAO Finds Gaps in Job Training"

Sooner, Simpler, Smarter: Policy Change for Better College Choice
National College Access Network, November 2013

A coalition of several organizations, including the National College Access Network, prepared this report that examines the barriers students, particularly low-income students, face in selecting and applying for college and to examine possible strategies to address and remove those barriers. The report recommends a simple and transparent aid system as a way to increase access to college and improve college choices and outcomes. Transparency of information is vital not only to students and their families, which need information to make informed choices, but also policymakers, higher education institutions, and businesses. One example is that more families, particularly low-income ones, should be aware that the “sticker price” is usually not the price that they must pay for a college education.  Students and their families should also know more about the experiences and outcomes of similar students.


APSCU Statement on the Conclusion of Negotiated Rulemaking

Best Practices APSCU published best practices.

Member Directory Search for Allied Plus and Allied Members.


800k graduates

PSCUs open doors to many of the 9.1 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills.PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.