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September 18, 2004

Failing Grade For Higher Education


FROM THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND HIGHER EDUCATION comes a “report card” on higher education.

In effect, the Center failed the colleges collectively.

The study was called “Measuring Up 2004” and it graded all 50 states in five categories: student preparation, college participation, college completion, college affordability, and "benefits," which relates to the economic and civic gains accruing to states with an educated citizenry.

When the 2002 results were compared to 1992, college performances were found to have slipped pretty much across the board.

Colleges were found to be less affordable, for example, in New Jersey the net cost of attending a four-year college for one year was 24% of a family’s income in 1992, and 34% in 2002.

The likelihood that a 9th grader would complete high school and enroll in college by age 19 declined over the decade. New York went from 45% in 1992 to 34% in 2002; in California from 35% to 32% and Illinois from 49% to 42%.

Interestingly, within all the red marks, the center found that colleges had made “modest” progress over the decade in the percentage of students earning certificates or degrees. Perhaps student-athlete grad rates are not so bad by comparison?

There was no mention made about the effect of huge numbers of illegal aliens—and their school age children—had on the results in 1992 versus 2002.

More later . . .

(this 237 word excerpt—with accompanying commentary—was extracted from a 1655 word article in The Chronicle of Higher Learning of 9-16-04)