Students bypassing four-year colleges in favor of alternative paths to careers

“Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, many students are carving their own career paths, making educational choices based on their own interests and motivations. For some students, opportunities are in the trades or military, while other graduates are launching businesses, going on mission trips or exploring schooling options on other continents.”

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‘Restoring the Promise’ Review: High Cost, Low Yield

“We are at the end of an era in American higher education. It is an era that began in the decades after the Civil War, when colleges and universities gradually stopped being preparatory schools for ministers and lawyers and embraced the ideals of research and academic professionalism. It reached full bloom after World War II, when the spigots of public funding were opened in full, and eventually became an overpriced caricature of itself, bloated by a mix of irrelevance and complacency and facing declining enrollments and a contracting market. No one has better explained the economics of this decline—and its broad cultural effects—than Richard Vedder.”

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12 Trends Killing College

“Does college still matter? The Department of Education makes the case that college is more valuable than ever: Degree holders earn $1 million more that workers without postsecondary education and the innovation economy is likely to require a more educated workforce. But averages and projections hide the rapid loss of faith in higher education as the escalator to the middle class.”

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23 colleges and groups get $183.8M to expand apprenticeships

“The U.S. Department of Labor is granting $183.8 million to colleges and their private-sector partners to support training for more than 85,000 apprentices in the health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology fields. Twenty-three higher education institutions and groups — including the Alabama Community College System, Purdue University and the Colorado Department of Higher Education — received funding. It will be partially matched by the private partners. The grant program stems from a 2017 executive order, in which President Donald Trump called on the federal government to expand apprenticeships.”

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Considering the Alternatives

“Considering the plethora of lower-cost (in both dollars and time) alternatives to the traditional degree, it is no surprise that enrollment at the bachelor’s level in higher ed has dropped for the past half-dozen years. Sure, a robust economy has contributed to the decline, but applications to the University of California system and other major universities, as well as most midsized and smaller colleges, are down for 2019.”

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Fewer than half of public colleges are affordable, report finds

“The share of public colleges considered affordable decreased between the 2012-13 and 2016-17 academic years, according to a new report from the National College Access Network (NCAN). NCAN defines an affordable college as one with a total cost of attendance not exceeding the combination of: its average grant and federal loan awards; average expected family contribution for Pell Grant recipients; average Federal-Work Study award; and summer wages, plus $300.” 

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