Robert Kelchen

Robert Kelchen, a professor of education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is data manager of the Washington Monthly College Guide.


Is the Term “College Ratings” Toxic?

In what will come as a surprise to few observers, much of the higher education community isn’t terribly fond of President Obama’s plan to develop a college ratings system for the 2015-16 academic year. An example of this is a recently released Inside Higher Ed/Gallup survey of college provosts and chief academic officers. Only a… Read more »

Can Maintenance of Effort Programs Fund Public Higher Education?

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities released a policy paper this week calling for the federal government to enact (and fund) a program designed to encourage states to increase their support for public higher education. The AASCU brief rightly notes that per-student funding for public higher education has fallen over the past three… Read more »

Randomize College Admissions!

Sixty-nine percent of students who apply to Stanford University with perfect SAT scores are rejected. Let that sink in for a minute…getting a perfect SAT is far from easy. In 2013, the College Board reported that only 494 students out of over 1.6 million test-takers got a 2400. Stanford enrolled roughly 1700 students in their… Read more »

The College Ratings Suggestion Box is Open

The U.S. Department of Education is hard at work developing a Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS), that will rate colleges before the start of the 2015-16 academic year. In addition to a four-city listening tour in November 2013, ED is seeking public comments and technical expertise to help guide them through the process. The full… Read more »

Will Holding Colleges Accountable for Default Rates be Effective?

As student loan debt continues to climb and Congress enters a midterm election year, three Democrats in the United States Senate (Reed, Durbin, and Warren) recently introduced a piece of legislation designed to hold certain types of colleges and universities accountable for their students’ loan default rates. If enacted, the bill would require colleges to… Read more »