Here’s an interesting story about a student that really wanted to go to NYU but couldn’t afford it. Instead of going to NYU’s main campus she got a full ride to attend the University’s new campus in China. That’s one way to avoid taking out too many student loans!
Click here for a link to the story from NPR.
by Brenden Overton
The graduation rate of US college students has been a popular topic for decades. “Inputs Trump Outputs” by Paul Fain examines several factors that have substantial effects on six-year graduation rates. Based on academic research, the author concludes that student attributes such as federal grant reception (especially the Pell Grant), average ACT scores, grade point average, race, wealth of the institution, and transfer credits, largely predict six years graduation rates.
Some of these results, especially those relating to the six-year graduation rate of Pell Grant recipients, are quite unnerving. If the federal government rewards the institutions with high graduation rates, these institutions will have an inherent incentive to optimize the rates. If these research studies prove accurate, then to accomplish this, the rate of acceptance of candidates that appear less desirable (e.g. low-income families, minorities, those with poor standardized test performances) will decrease. In a country where a four-year degree is more essential than ever to obtain a well-paying career, the future looks bleak for those students who do not match the conventional characteristics of a college student and the universities that cater to them. The critical question that then arises is: How can we reconstruct the educational system to allow those who are qualified but do not have the resources to obtain degrees?
by Marie Herb
On September 9, an article was published that described a study performed at Northwestern University from 2001 to 2008. In the study, over 15,000 students were analyzed for performance during classes. They found that when students took an introductory course they were likelier to perform better when an adjunct – a part-time teacher – was teaching the class over a tenured professor. In addition, the students were also more likely to take the follow-up course the next semester and perform better when taught by an adjunct. However, this study has some restraining factors. These factors include that Northwestern University is a very prestigious school, Northwestern was the only school used in the experiment, most of the adjuncts at the school have some connection with the university, and most of the adjuncts have been teaching at the school for an extended amount of time.
While this study is very limited in some respects, it is at least an interesting thought that is not commonly presented. Usually, a student would want a renowned professor teaching his class rather than someone else. Colleges and universities should look at the way their tenure system works and think about how it can be better improved. The topic of teacher-effectiveness is one that should be pursued, especially within the upcoming years as the view of higher education is changing.