A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research points to the financial advantages of letting donors designate where in a large university their money might be used. The study used two groups at Texas A&M University at College Station in which one was sent an appeal for the annual fund, and the other was sent a similar appeal, but with the chance to designate some of their gift to the college they attended within Texas A&M. The researchers found no significant difference in the rates at which donors made any gift. But those with the option to designate, if they gave, made larger contributions. The study was by Catherine Eckel and Jonathan Meer of Texas A&M, and David Herberich of the University of Chicago. An abstract of the study may be found here.
The governing board of the Technical College System of Georgia on Thursday voted to approve the proposed merger between Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College. The system has used mergers in an attempt to save money and be more efficient. The Moultrie and Southwest consolidation is due to be completed next year. It will reduce the number of colleges in the system to 22, down from 33 in 2009, when the mergers began. System officials said students experience little change in the day-to-day operations of their campuses during mergers.
A new oil boom is enriching the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, primarily their flagship campuses, but also the other institutions in the systems, The Dallas Morning News reported. The universities benefit from the Permanent University Fund, created by the state with land in west Texas. The energy produced from the land is resulting in recent endowment growth of 70 percent a year, leading to considerable building of facilities and expansion of programs at a time many state systems remain unable to find cash.
Yeshiva wants to form a new entity with its longtime partner that runs the university hospital at the medical college, the Montefiore Health System. Shortfalls at the university as a whole have been driven by operations at the medical college.
Under the planned arrangement, Montefiore will take “greater responsibility for the day-to-day operations and financial management” of the medical college while Yeshiva will remain the degree-granting institution for it, the university and the health system said in a news release. The university’s trustees and the health system’s board leadership have endorsed the plan, but there is not yet a final agreement and that agreement would then be subject to regulatory approval.
The pioneering Olin College of Engineering has accumulated tens of millions of dollars in losses in recent years, eating into its endowment, an article in The Boston Globe reveals. Olin, which was founded in 2002, has been heralded for its distinctive, high-touch approach to engineering education, which has proven expensive even though the institution does not offer amenities such as athletics. The Globe reported that the college spent about $100 million more than it took in from 2008 to 2011, and that its endowment lost significant value as well.
Roughly 9 percent of the $511 billion spent in 2011 in the United States on higher education went to financing interest payments or to corporate profits, according to a new analysis from the Center for Culture, Organizations and Politics at the University of California at Berkeley. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) commissioned the report, which found that $45 billion in higher education spending that year was for interest on individual student loan debt or on colleges' borrowing, or went to profits made by for-profit college companies.
The bulk of the $45 billion figure is attributable to student and institutional borrowing. Operating profits among for-profit colleges were roughly $4 billion in 2011, according to the report, and less than $1 billion in 2012 -- due to plunging enrollments in the sector. The student debt figure cited in the report refers to interest payments on both private and federal loans. The bulk of institutional borrowing was to fund "amenities" and construction projects, according to the study, such as for football stadiums.
For-profits got plenty of attention at a Wednesday AFT event to unveil the report. Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat, was there. He urged tighter regulation of the sector.
"This is an insane way to educate low-income students," said Takano. "We need strong gainful emploment rules."