Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, July 13, 2012 - 4:29am

The University of Hawaii has put its athletics director, Jim Donovan, on leave amid concerns about a fund-raising event. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that $200,000 in athletics department funds were used to plan a concert with Stevie Wonder. One big problem, however, is that Wonder never agreed to appear, raising lots of questions about why and how the funds were used. Department officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Amélie Quesnel-Vallée of McGill University reveals the multigenerational advantages of a college degree. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 4:31am

An architectural contract for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is on hold amid questions about conflict of interest, The Chicago Tribune reported. The $4.6 million contract was awarded to a firm owned in part by the husband of the university official who oversees the planning of construction projects. The State of Illinois has a system for review of contracts with potential conflicts, but the university awarded the funds -- since placed on hold -- without going through that system's reviews.

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 4:32am

Presidents of Council of Independent Colleges institutions (small and medium-sized private colleges) are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, the organization announced Thursday. The CIC used data collected from a survey of presidents by the American Council on Education, and found that CIC presidents were more satisfied than are the presidents of public institutions. The CIC presidents are also younger than presidents in other sectors.

 

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 3:00am

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released preliminary data Thursday about types of degrees offered and conferred, tuition and fees rates, and enrollment head counts. Provisional data will be released in about three months, and final data will be available in 2012-13.

Some findings from the report -- “Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in 2011-12, Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2010-11, and 12-Month Enrollment: 2010-11” -- are:

  • Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges, after adjusting for inflation, increased more for in-state students -- 9 percent, to about $7,200 -- than for out-of-state students -- 5.6 percent, to about $16,500. Nonprofit institutions reported a 4.3 percent increase in tuition and fees, to about $23,300, and for-profit institutions reported no increase from the 2009-10 inflation-adjusted figure of about $15,200.
  • Of the 7,398 Title IV institutions in the United States in 2011-12, 41.3 percent, or 3,053, were classified as four-year institutions. About 31.5 percent, or 2,332, were two-year institutions, and 27.2 percent, or 2,013 were less-than-two-year institutions. About 27.6 percent, or 2,039, of all the institutions were public. About 25.5 percent, or 1,890, were nonprofit, and the largest proportion -- 46.9 percent, or 3,469 -- were for-profit institutions.
  • For 2010-11, institutions reported an unduplicated headcount enrollment of about 29.5 million students, comprising about 25.6 million undergraduates and about 3.9 million graduate students. About 12.6 million students were male, and 16.9 million were female.
  • For the same year, institutions reported conferring about 3.6 million degrees. Four-year institutions handed out about 2.9 million of them and two-year institutions awarded about 650,000. Of these, 942,336 were associate degrees. The most popular type of degree was a bachelor’s degree -- 1,715,913. A total of 730,635 master’s degrees were awarded, and 163,765 of all types of doctoral degrees were handed out.
Friday, July 13, 2012 - 3:00am

A study of the football teams of the three U.S. service academies has found that the number of concussions reported increased from 23 to 42 from 2009-10 to 2010-11. The results were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The period studied marked the start of new reporting requirements by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on concussions. As a result, researchers cautioned that increases might be because of more concussions or because of more concussions being identified and reported.

 

Friday, July 13, 2012 - 3:00am

The Montana University System this week announced that it will rename all five of the state's public colleges of technology as well as the two-year college programs at its public universities. The new names drop the word "technology" and reflect an effort to broaden the two-year colleges' mission by offering more services and programming for both traditional-age students and adult learners, according to a news release. An enhanced systemwide identity is part of a push by system leaders to increase the number of degree-holders in the state.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 3:00am

A distance learning group is raising an alarm about a change to Pell Grants in a Senate appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013 that, if signed into law, could cut the need-based grants for students taking online classes. A provision in the bill, which would increase the overall Pell Grant next year, would stop allowing students taking online classes to claim room and board expenses, as well as "miscellaneous personal expenses," as part of their cost of living when applying for Pell Grants.

Currently, Pell Grants take all forms of expenses into account for all students, whether they're commuters, residential students or enrolled in online or distance learning programs. Students would still be able to use those expenses when applying for student loans or other forms of financial aid. "It is hard to understand why the cost for a student’s living expenses are not allowable if the student takes online courses, but would be allowable if that same student were to commute to campus to take the same courses in a classroom," wrote Russ Poulin, deputy director for research and analysis with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Patricia Anderson of Dartmouth College reveals how efforts to improve academic performance have contributed to the obesity epidemic. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 4:11am

For many years, critics have derided "legislative scholarships" in Illinois that allow legislators to give scholarships to public universities to students in their districts, with very few limitations. On Wednesday, Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, signed legislation to kill off the program, The Chicago Tribune reported. Several Tribune investigations focused on the fairness of the program. In 2009, the newspaper found that in the five prior years, lawmakers gave at least 140 scholarships to relatives of campaign donors.

 

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