Weekly Research Digest - 7.24.13

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

Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field

National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2013

In the face of declining state support, many universities have introduced differential pricing by undergraduate program as an alternative to across-the-board tuition increases. This practice aligns price more closely with instructional costs and students' ability to pay post-graduation.

Enhancing Rigor in Developmental Education
Community College Research Center, July 2013

Based on faculty and student interviews and classroom observation, Scaling Innovation project institutions "identified three strategies that faculty have used to enhance rigor in their developmental education courses:  (1) aligning content with college-level course expectations, (2) providing consistent opportunities for students to construction knowledge, and (3) making struggle a part of the learning process."

43rd Annual Survey Report on State-sponsored Student Financial Aid, 2011-2012 Academic Year
National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSAG), July 2013

The report shows that of the $6.95 billion needs-based grants award to students by the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, students attending PSCUs received 5.5 percent or $379 million.

In The News
Inside Higher Ed – "Stretching State Aid"
The Chronicle of Higher Ed – "Many States Increased Student Aid Despite Recession, Data Show"

Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and the Future of Higher Education
Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) at the University of Kansas, July 2013

The Assets and Education Initiative proposes an assets-based approach to paying for college, which is, "friendly to lower-income families. Asset-based approaches work by increasing students' stake in their own educational futures, thereby making persistence and success more likely. The simple act of opening an account for college may turn higher education into an important—instead of an impossible—goal, with a clear strategy for overcoming the barrier of high costs. Saving may be seen as a way to enable "people like me" to pay for college, which may make all the difference."

In The News
The Chronicle of Higher Ed – "Report Seeks to Shift the Financial-Aid Conversation From Loans to Savings"

Job Openings and Labor Turnover
Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013

“There were 3.8 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and separations rate (3.2 percent) also were little changed in May. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.”



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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 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.