Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

January 8, 2008

Yale decides it can afford to spend a little more from its endowment

Filed under: college costs, education — texased @ 7:58 pm
Texas Ed Spectator
Another attempt to head off government regulation of college endowments.

Complete post is at my new website www.texasedspectator.com.

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December 31, 2007

So what do you do with $35 billion dollars?

Filed under: college costs, Higher Education — texased @ 2:13 pm
Very interesting article on Harvard’s new accessibility to the middle class. Families making less than $120,000 won’t pay any tuition. The author, Steven Roy Goodman, argues that by providing additional aid, Harvard and others with generous endowments, are hoping to head off legislation by Congress that would mandate schools to spend 5% of it’s endowment as required by other private foundations.
Goodman reports that Harvard claims the tuition initiative could cost it $22 million a year. However, if it heads off the Congressional mandate, the school saves $245 million dollars a year for the endowment.
Complete post is at my new site www.texasedspectator.com

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April 22, 2007

Indicators of college effectiveness

Filed under: Accountability, college costs, Higher Education, Texas — texased @ 3:21 pm

Even though my son has shown absolutely no interest in colleges (except for their football programs) I have been looking at the possibilities. Given that we can expect to qualify for zero financial aid and finding myself leaning toward small, private schools, I’ve started thinking about is it really worth it to spend $30,000 a year to send him to one school over another. I realize that my primary concern is that he actually graduates. Now try finding graduation rates on college websites.

But I did find the Education Trust website. This site allows you to search for colleges based on various parameters including graduation rates. So if you enter a search for colleges that have a 75% or higher graduation rate within six years, you’ll get a list of 170 colleges that meet the criteria. Of those colleges, five are in Texas:

Rice University – 89.9%
Southwestern University – 78.2%
Texas A & M – 77.3%
Austin College – 75.6%
The University of Texas at Austin – 75.1%

No wonder people are upset up the top ten percent rule. It’s either UT or A&M in terms of getting your kids into a public school from which you have a reasonable expectation that will graduate.

Now I understand about self-selection and the problems associated with the other public universities and that you get as a good of an education as you want no matter where you go. And ultimately, if the other schools get some of the students that would have previously gone to UT Austin, their graduation rates can be expected to rise. But given the amount of money that students, parents, and the state of Texas (although it has been decreasing dramatically over the past few years) pay for higher education combined with our low ranking in the number of college graduates, shouldn’t we be looking at how to keep more students in school to graduate? I don’t think you’re going to solve this through tuition de-regulation.

November 6, 2006

Paying for college

Filed under: college costs, Higher Education — texased @ 7:30 am

Bell addresses teacher pay, college tuition:

Another major education issue that hit close to home Thursday was skyrocketing tuition increases at state universities.Bell said Texans have watched as higher education was unregulated and tuition went up anywhere from 30 to 100 percent.

“Why would you make college less affordable at a time when more jobs than ever before require a college education,” he said.

Traveling with Bell was Cindy Gonzalez, a former higher education director for Rick Perry and, up until this year, a Republican.

Gonzalez said she’s supporting Bell because he is the only candidate truly committed to higher education.

Gonzalez said she has nothing against Perry, and thinks he’s a fine man, but she said that did not change the fact that his administration failed Texas students and broke promises when tuition was deregulated and state schools were underfunded.

“And if I don’t stand up for those students now,” she said, “I will feel like I failed them as well.”

If elected, Bell said he would first re-regulate college tuition to help get control over tuition. He said he would also bring back the Texas Tomorrow Fund and make textbooks tax-free.

When I entered UT Austin way back in 1984, my student loan paid for my room and board and my Pell Grant covered my tuition. I worked part-time to cover my books which was usually more than my tuition. That isn’t going to happen today. When you vote on Tuesday, you might consider if you are so much better off today that the increases in college tuition don’t affect you.

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