Posts Tagged by higher education
|November 9, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Education, News, Policy, Research, Youth Development||
If you were born into a family at the lower end of the earning spectrum, there is a good chance you will remain there, but if you do move up you likely won’t reach the middle income bracket, according to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts on economic mobility. The findings from the report, Moving On Up Why Do Some Americans Leave the Bottom of the Economic Ladder, but Not Others?, point to a combination of race, educational attainment and employment as having a strong influence on the likelihood of a person ascending the income ladder. Specifically, the researchers found that 86 percent of college graduates versus 55 percent of those without a college degree moved up from the lowest category of the income ladder, as did 84 percent of double income families compared to 49 percent of those with one earner. The accumulation of savings and home equity were also related to upward mobility.
With human capital linked to economic mobility, it makes sense to take a closer look at the external factors that influence the development of one’s knowledge, skill sets and other facets of employability. The 2013 Opportunity Index from Opportunity Nation indicates some overall growth (2.6 percent) in the civic, educational and economic factors that are associated with upward mobility in the United States from 2011 to 2013. An interesting finding was that the zip code tends to be the strongest predictor of achievement – in other words – where one resides and the social, environmental, and institutional factors within that area influence one’s ability to access and successfully leverage opportunity for upward mobility.
Some of the national findings from the Opportunity Index:
- 5.8 million youth ages 16 to 24 are not in school and not employed
- 49 states saw an increase in their poverty rate even as unemployment decreased between 2011 and 2013
- High school graduation rates and the rate of people with at least an associate’s degree increased during this time period
- Unemployment was down, and mean household income was up between 2011 and 2013, but the poverty rate also increased (13.8 percent from 12.5 percent)
- Preschool enrollment stayed steady at just shy of 50 percent of 3 and 4 year olds, and on-time high school graduation increased to 84.1 percent (from 82.7 percent)
- The rate of violent crime and adult volunteering decreased
Photo Credit: M. Puzzanchera (Own Work) (CC By-NC-ND 3.0)
|February 24, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Education, News, Research||
The topic of college costs is back in the news as demands for increased accountability and transparency are once again catching momentum in Washington and beyond. While the value of a college education may not be adequately measured by economic formula alone, the combination of sticker shock and a slow economy could result in a more cautious, or arduous, decision-making process for families. With the average cost for one year of tuition and fees at a private 4-year university now costing over three times what it did my salad days, researching what you get for your considerable investment is understandable, if not expected, in 2013. The twist is that the actual draw for students may not be at all related to academics.
Beth Akers of the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings Institution asks some interesting questions around increased non-instruction spending in higher education in relation to the rising costs of tuition, board and fees for students in two and four-year institutions. While discussions of the value and accessibility of a college education (without having to take on $50,000+ in loans) may appeal to most with teenage children, Ms. Akers notes that a recently released paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the realities of market demand show that but for the the top tier of students, amenities greatly overshadow academics. Data from the 1990’s through 2004 indicate that students not headed to high-level academic institutions are swayed by and, more importantly, will pay for nicer dorms, gyms and activity centers.
So, the best way to attract the majority of college-bound youth is with a wide range of recreational offerings and top of the line facilities in which to house them. Colleges know this and it would be counter-intuitive for them to stop giving prospective students exactly what they want. My question — what, if any, impact will the recession have on this trend? A study from The Higher Education Research Institute reports that over 2/3rds of freshman entering a college or university in 2012 were significantly influenced by the current economic climate, and nearly 60 percent were not attending their first-choice due to affordability concerns. Further, the impact of the cost of a particular institution on student decision-making was ranked as “very important” by approximately 43 percent of incoming freshmen last year, up from 31 percent in 2004. Is the market changing?
What are your predictions for college recruitment and marketing over the next 10 years?
|October 31, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, News, Research||
Late last month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced funding for the Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Program, an initiative meant to increase the number and availability of social workers and psychologists in rural areas, specifically to assist military veterans and their families. Nearly $10 million in grants were awarded to institutions (including two in eastern Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia) to support study and clinical training in the areas of trauma and abuse, combat-related stress and substance abuse. Although about 28 percent of the 22 million veterans in the United States reside in rural areas, treatment for PTSD and other combat-related conditions remains difficult to find and may lack the required intensity. These grants aim to increase both the availability and intensity of trauma–related mental health care, as well as services to families of persons with chronic illnesses in rural areas.
|July 17, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, News, Policy||
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has released several briefs on the 2012-13 PA budget, including their analysis on the cuts, credits and potential impact of the budget on Pennsylvania residents. Budget highlights:
- Final budget total amount is $27.656 billion (an increase of $517 million compared to Governor Corbett’s earlier proposal).
- Overall, General Fund spending was down 1.4 percent from 2010-11. Notable spending cuts include, classroom education (a decrease of 9.6 percent), labor and industry (a decrease of 13.5 percent), community and economic development (a decrease of 18.5 percent) and environment (decrease of 20.4 percent).
- Other areas of major cuts: human services (specifically mental health, homeless assistance), higher education and the end of the General Assistance Program – a program that gave temporary support to over 68,000 Pennsylvanians who were sick or disabled.
- Several tax credits and cuts were implemented or continued, including private school scholarships for youth in low-performing school districts (through the EITC program) and credits for corporations doing business in the Commonwealth.
- The Human Services Development Block Grant did not make it into the final budget, but the legislature passed a bill to enact a Human Services Development Block Grant Pilot Program as law.
Visit The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center website for analysis and commentary on the 2012-13 budget and the latest news on policy in Pennsylvania.