IR in the Know

  • IR In The Know
  • 11.19.19

Promoting Evidence, Equity, and Student Success

  • by eAIR

Reports & Tools

Better Data, Better Outcomes: Promoting Evidence, Equity, and Student Success through the Framework for State Postsecondary Data Solutions
The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) released a new guidebook introducing a framework that highlights the barriers to effective data use by states and identifies approaches to eliminating those barriers, with solutions at the federal, state, and regional levels. The challenges include resource allocation, difficulty matching and sharing data across agencies and states, and legal and regulatory compliance barriers. The Framework identifies opportunities to build innovative partnerships and develop messaging and advocacy strategies to champion a culture of data use.

First-Gen' Proud: Campuses Are Celebrating an Overlooked Group. But Is That Enough? (Angela Henderson)
First-generation students make up nearly half of all college students, but graduate at well below the national average rate. This article examines the efforts institutions are going to in order to identify and support first-generation students.

WWC Report: Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Shows Positive Findings for Community College Students
The What Works Clearinghouse recently reviewed the research on Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and its impacts on community college students. The results are summarized in an intervention report released 11/5/2019 by the Institute of Education Sciences. ASAP is a three-year program that is designed to remove barriers to college success and completion for students seeking associate degrees by offering financial, academic, and personal supports. ASAP students are required to enroll full time and are encouraged to take any required developmental education courses in the first semester. Based on the research, the What Works Clearinghouse found that ASAP will likely increase graduation, enrollment, and credit accumulation and persistence rates for community college students.

WWC Reviews: Stay the Course and Early College High School Model
Stay the Course is intended to help students overcome individual barriers to completing their community college program by offering comprehensive case management services through a social service agency. Each student in the program is paired with a social worker who offers mentoring, coaching, and referrals to other supports both within and outside the college. These services are more intensive than what community college academic counselors typically provide. In addition, the program provides emergency financial aid that helps students with short-term, non-academic expenses that might affect college success, such as the need for a car repair. Read full study/findings.

Early college high schools provide students with both high school and college experiences, with the goal of ensuring that students graduate with a high school diploma and two years of transferable college credit or an associate degree. These small schools, which are sometimes located on college campuses, are designed to provide all students with an academically rigorous course of study. Some early college high schools are structured as four-year schools, but most allow students five years to complete the curriculum. Read full study/findings.

Emerging Trends

Rural Students Gain but Lag in College Attendance
Recent research shows that students located in rural areas have lower average enrollment and degree completion outcomes with small shifts in the 1990s and 2000s. Between 1991 and 2000, data trends over time suggest that enrollment and completion gaps narrowed, but with rural students still facing persistent challenges. To further support rural students, the researchers of the study advocate for more data on the college-going behaviors of rural students to improve student success policies and practices. (Source: Inside Higher Ed / Postsec Data)

University of Chicago Projected to be First U.S. University to Cost $100,000 a Year (Angela Henderson)
This brief examines rising tuition costs at selective institutions and the impact of tuition discounting.

Policy Watch

New Rules on Accreditation and State Authorization (Angela Henderson)
The Trump administration calls its final rules on accreditation and state approval of online providers a rightsizing of bureaucracy that protects students. Consumer advocates and Democrats see an unraveling of federal oversight.

Short-Term Pell Grants: What the Data Say
One proposal gaining momentum from lawmakers is the expansion of federal Pell Grant aid to short-term programs—programs as short as eight weeks including such certifications as medical coding, manufacturing, transportation, and IT. To better understand what opening Pell Grant dollars to shorter-term programs will yield, the author examined earnings data at institutions that focus primarily on offering certificate programs. From his analysis, he found that most Pell Grant dollars that flowed to existing short-term programs actually funded those that produced the least economic benefit for those who enroll when comparing those with no college degree or credential, those with an associate's degree, and those with a bachelor's degree. (Source: Third Way / Postsec Data)

Early Decision Harms Students of Color and Low-Income Students
This article discusses how early decision practices—policies that allow high school students to apply earlier to a university with the students committing to attend if accepted regardless of knowing their financial aid offer—contribute to stark racial and socioeconomic inequities in postsecondary education. Data on admission policies like early decision show that early decision applicants are three times more likely to be wealthy and White; putting students from affluent families at an unfair advantage. The author suggests that based on this data, colleges and universities should end these types of policies to increase diversity in college admissions. (Source: Center for American Progress / Postsec Data)

NCES Updates

Data Explorer Tool Released (This Week in IPEDS)
NCES recently released a new Data Explorer tool. The Data Explorer enables users to search for data tables, such as those that have appeared in First Look publications and IPEDS web table reports. The tool also links to tables derived from the Trend Generator. Future additions to the Data Explorer will include IPEDS-related tables and charts from the Digest of Education Statistics and the Condition of Education, IPEDS Brochures, Methodology Reports, and other sources. The Data Explorer is available from IPEDS Use the Data page.

New Report Releases Data on Postsecondary Tuition, Fees and Degrees (IES Newsflash Subscription Service)
NCES released a new set of data and web tables in early October that includes fully edited and imputed data from the IPEDS fall 2018 collection. This collection included three survey components: Institutional Characteristics for the 2018-19 academic year, Completions covering the period July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, and data on 12-Month Enrollment for the 2017–18 academic year. Between 2016–17 and 2018–19, the average tuition and required fees at 4-year public institutions increased 1% for in-state and decreased 0.2% for out-of-state students (after adjusting for inflation). During that same time period, tuition and required fees increased 1.4% at 4-year nonprofit institutions and decreased 3.7% at for-profit institutions.

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