Inside these pages you will get an unprecedented look behind the ivy-covered walls of America’s public colleges and universities and into how well they are educating all — we repeat, all — of today’s college students
Trends in College Spending, 1999–2009: Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? is the fourth in a series of reports on college and university spending from the Delta Cost Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability. The mission of the Delta Cost Project is to improve public accountability for spending in higher education through the presentation of measures that put financial information into context, showing how money is spent and how that spending relates to institutional performance. The findings presented in this report concentrate on the 1999 to 2009 academic years; 2009 is the last year for which spending data are available and the first year of the “Great Recession,” whose effects are still reverberating through higher education.
Financial aid for higher education often represents the lifeline that allows students to acquire a postsecondary education in our country. Access to higher education is the gateway to economic prosperity for many Americans. Individuals with higher education have higher earnings than those who do not, and that holds true across race, ethnicity, and gender. Similarly, those with higher education degrees experience lower rates of unemployment and poverty, as well as have fewer health issues than those who do not or cannot attain a postsecondary education. And those with college degrees exhibit higher rates of civic engagement—they are more likely to vote, donate blood, and volunteer.
n July 2011, UPCEA and WCET partnered to survey institutions about how they were addressing the state authorization issue. Even though the federal requirement was vacated by court order in July, state regulations were in place prior to the issuance of the federal regulations and are still in effect. Institutional personnel, policy-makers, and the press were all wondering what steps institutions had taken towards compliance. 230 institutions from the UPCEA and WCET memberships responded to the survey.
There is growing national discussion about the need to create a more expansive definition of learning to include all the ways that youth can access educational opportunities—not just through the traditional school model, but also through afterschool activities, time spent with the family, and increasingly, through interaction with digital media. Broadening our ideas about where, when, and how learning happens helps communities to create richer learning pathways that have the potential to include more nonacademic opportunities to help youth gain the skills necessary for a healthy adulthood, offer a seamless learning environment that can help stem summer learning loss, and tap resources outside of schools for additional opportunities to help close the achievement gap.
In 2007 we launched APLUS, a landmark longitudinal study exploring how young adults develop financial knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors—the elements of financial capability—and how that development impacts life success as adults. Uncertain economic conditions and increasing individual responsibility for financial security underscore the need for this research.