Notes & Coffee: July 3-9

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.

The value of a college degree in one simple chart – The economy is near full employment in many parts of the country, but young adults still have more trouble finding jobs than more experienced workers. The struggle is even more difficult for those who don’t have a college degree, a new chart from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows.The unemployment rate for recent college grads ages 22 to 27 is just 4 percent. That’s less than half the 8.5 percent unemployment rate for workers of the same age who don’t have a college degree.

What colleges really think about how teens spend the summer – A summer job bagging groceries at the local supermarket or flipping burgers at a fast food joint used to be rite of passage for teenagers. For some students, the cash they earned would go toward buying clothes or tickets to a blockbuster at the multiplex. Others would deposit their paychecks into a college savings account, putting funds aside for when they’d need to buy books and supplies on campus. Nowadays, however, fewer teens are working summer jobs, and the trend of adults being hired for the minimum-wage jobs youth used to get isn’t necessarily to blame. With the growing awareness of how critical education is to economic prosperity, it turns out that many teens are spending their summers on activities they think will give them an edge in the college admissions game.

Shaky international yields – Survey results released Thursday offer a first look at yield rates of prospective international students -- that is, the percentage who accept an offer of admission for the fall -- and suggest that universities may see different patterns depending on where in the U.S. they’re located. The yield rate for international undergraduates declined modestly from 26 to 24 percent from fall 2016 to fall 2017, a dip that’s on par with a decline in the domestic student yield rate from 30 to 28 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with four other higher education groups. However, the overall two-percentage-point drop masks significant variations in yield rates across regions -- with the biggest declines in yield rates reported by institutions in Southern states -- and colleges in general are reporting high levels of concern among some groups of prospective international students about their safety and ability to obtain a visa.

Is innovation severely lacking in online education? – Online education programs are seeing steady growth, though lower tuition and the use of innovative technologies and tools seem to be lagging, according to the Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE). CHLOE is a new survey of chief online officers at community colleges and four-year public and private nonprofit institutions and focuses on the management of online education as it becomes more mainstream at U.S. institutions. The emergence of the chief online officer position at many institutions is strong evidence that online education is becoming more mainstream, and the CHLOE survey draws upon feedback from 104 chief online officer responses to inform its report on current online education trends, including resource allocation, emerging tools, instructional innovations, and more.

Blog: Supporting women in higher education through equitable financial aid support – It is well established that women make up the majority of college graduates, but earn less in the workforce than men. The most recent data show that women earned over half of all college degrees, from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. Even though women are more successful at all levels of postsecondary education attainment, it is not reflected in their paychecks. One year after graduation, average annual earnings for women are $7,622 less than males ($35,296 vs $42,918). The wage gap only grows over time; four years after graduation the wage gap grows to $10,400. A woman with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make $650,000 less in her lifetime than a man. 

How higher ed would feel Medicaid cuts – When states began opting in to Medicaid expansion after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, among the beneficiaries were the teaching hospitals that train doctors and nurses and serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. But if the U.S. Senate’s proposal to replace the ACA goes through, higher education groups say, those teaching institutions could take a large hit to their bottom lines because of serious Medicaid cuts. In addition, the pressures those reductions would put on state budgets likely will lead to less support of public higher education, the groups warned.

More Notes

Silence from the Secretary, despite major rules changes

Ahead of retirement wave, some states fill jobs with apprenticeships

Blue-collar jobs that pay 6 figures are going unfilled

Amid dispute, award returned

In review: three documentaries tackle timely issues in higher education