Higher Education

Comments on the Trump Higher Education Budget Proposal

The Trump administration released its first full budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 today, and it is safe to say that it represents a sharp break from the Obama administration’s budget proposals. The proposed discretionary budget for the Department of Education is about $69 billion, $10 billion less than the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Below,… Read more »

Five Takeaways from Five Years of Public Engagement

When I was beginning my final year of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I started a blog with the goal of thinking through some of the interesting issues in higher education policy by writing about them. I joined Twitter a few months later (in February 2013), and I’ve done my best to consistently… Read more »

Studying With Your Smartphone? That’s Not So Smart

New research shows the mere presence of your smartphone – even if it isn’t ringing and you aren’t staring at it – undermines your ability to perform certain tasks. A team of psychologists ran a series of experiments with college students and found that their attention and problem-solving varied depending on the location of their… Read more »

Not-so-Free College and the Disappointment Effect

One of the most appealing aspects of tuition-free higher education proposals is that they convey a simple message about higher education affordability. Although students will need to come up with a substantial amount of money to cover textbooks, fees, and living expenses, one key expense will be covered if students hold up their end of… Read more »

New Study Shows More Degrees Earned at Colleges and Universities That Serve Minorities

The official federal graduation rates for colleges and universities that serve large numbers of black, Latino and Asian students significantly underestimate how many of their students are earning degrees, according to a new report. THE TOPIC Graduation rates at minority-serving colleges WHY IT MATTERS Minority-serving institutions may graduate more students than federal data show “Pulling… Read more »

Examining Variations in Marriage Rates Across Colleges

This piece originally appeared at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard blog. Young adulthood is not only the time when most people attend college, but also a time when many marry. In fact, college attendance and marriage are linked and have social and economic consequences for individuals and their families. When (and if) people get… Read more »

The Ins and Outs of the Borrower Defense Rule

Click here to download a PDF of this piece. The author worked at the Department of Education during construction of this rule.  Introduction In 1994, Congress added to the Higher Education Act a provision directing the Secretary of Education to establish rules to allow students who were misled by their colleges to present a defense… Read more »

Examining Trends in the Pell Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its annual report on the federal Pell Grant program, which provides detailed information about the program’s finances and who is receiving grants. The most recent report includes data from the 2015-16 academic year, and I summarize the data and trends over the last two decades in this annual… Read more »