“Higher education” is a vague term. It describes a sector that is hardly uniform, with over 4,000 degree-granting institutions eligible for federal funding but serious disparities among them. A college education from one of these institutions continues to serve as a prerequisite to moving up the income ladder in our narrative about economic mobility. Yet,

Who writes the rules matters. The ongoing effort by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to privatize the facility support staff of state-run universities, parks, and National Guard armories is proof of this. Thus far, this push has happened mostly behind closed doors and entirely at the discretion of the governor and a small group of decision-makers.

In September, the Department of Education unveiled its new College Scorecard website. The scorecards are a major step forward in unleashing the power of educational data, as they allow prospective students to compare outcomes at different schools, providing data on costs, graduation rates, graduate indebtedness, and student earnings, among other metrics. But the scorecards have shortcomings, too, ranging from the limits of the data sample—the tax returns of students who received federal aid—to their reduction of a college education to a purely economic exchange. Among its most significant oversights, the scorecard data fails women.

Roosevelters weighed in on the first Democratic debate on #RooRxn last night. Today, Aman Banerji and Alan Smith of Roosevelt’s National Staff and Alyssa O’Brien of Roosevelt Northeast examine the issues the candidates missed. The first Democratic debate is in the books, and it was a welcome change of pace for those who, like the

Academics, concerned students, or our government is not deciding the future of our universities. In looking at who has the decision making power at large colleges and universities across the country it is clear that those who have the power to make decisions are never going to be affected by those decisions. When it comes

On November 30, representatives of 196 nations will converge on Paris to discuss how best to move forward in combating climate change, with the ultimate goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. At the same time, thousands of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students throughout the United States will be preparing for

If you watched the full Republican debate last night, congratulations. You deserve a prize for making it through a marathon that lacked the kind of substantive policy discussion our country deserves. It took nearly 30 minutes of debating candidate personalities before a single policy question was asked, and when issues were discussed, candidates quickly turned

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There’s been a lot of new data and analysis of student loans and colleges in the past week, including a new Brookings paper and the launch of the College Scorecard by the Department of Education. And with so much data coming out, it’s becoming more important that we keep our questions open-ended. The Brookings Report,

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One last note, following up on previous posts about human capital contracts (ISAs) and higher education. The first is about a NY Fed report that I believe argues ISAs would increase education costs. The secondis that the features of ISAs that are meant to mitigate higher education costs aren’t likely to do so. I’ve received

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Andrew Kelly and Kevin James, higher education researchers at the American Enterprise Institute and prominent defenders of human capital contracts (ISAs), take issue with my earlier post on that topic, arguing that I “miss the mark.” They argue that ISAs, or selling off a future percentage of your income to pay for college now, would

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