Weekly Research Digest, 10-17-13


Do No Harm: Undermining Access Will Not Improve College Completion
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, September 2013

This report identifies 10 fallacies that "policymakers reject when considering how to use federal student aid to increase college completion." One is that "the design of federal student aid is a major barrier to college completion." The report also identifies six barriers to access and completion and provides a framework for assessing the impact of proposed changes to the Higher Education Act. The six barriers are rising net prices, excessive loan burdens, fragmented funding, delivery complexity, inadequate early information and intervention, and insufficient in-college student support services.

Higher Education and the Opportunity Gap
The Brookings Institution, October 2013

A Brookings report address ways to narrow the opportunity gap between those in the lowest and highest income groups. Providing access to higher education to low-income students via Pell Grants is not enough; the gap can only be reduced if more low-income students graduate. The report offers several ideas for increasing the completion rate of low-income students, including tying aid to performance and, admittedly a more controversial approach, using national tests, as exist in many European countries, to determine eligibility for admission to postsecondary institutions.

Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation
Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce, September 2013

The realities of the new economic environment have created additional phases in the life cycle, according to this report. To adapt to the new phases, "the United States needs a new generational social compact for both young and older adults." The transition into and out of the labor market needs to be smoother and more efficient: Young adults will need to mix work and learning at earlier stages to accelerate their launch into full-time careers, and older adults will need a smoother transition into retirement that features a more flexible phase of work before full-fledged retirement.  

In the News
Inside Higher Ed - Young Adults Take Longer to Begin Careers, Report Says

In U.S., Online Education Rated Best for Value and Options
Gallup, October 2013

A survey by Gallup found that one-third of American adults view online education as better than traditional classroom-based education and another 39 percent view it as comparable to classroom-based education. Two-thirds of American adults said that online education provided better value or the same value as traditional classroom-based education. However, nearly half of respondents said that online education does not provide a degree that will be viewed positively by employers.

In the News
Chronicle of Higher Education - Traditional Education Beats Online in Key Areas, Opinion Poll Finds 


Globe University and Minnesota School of Business and Accurate Home Care Partner to Address Growing Demand for Skilled Health Care Workers To address job-market demand, Globe University and Minnesota…

5 Big Ideas from the APSCU State of the Workforce Symposium For two days, APSCU convened some of the most provocative th…

Op-ed: Let's Stimulate, Not Stifle, Innovation in Higher Education Earlier this week, Roll Call ran an op-ed by Ashford Univers…



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.