The Association of Former Students
Howdy, Advocates!
Welcome to spring and our fourth iteration of the news update. This edition includes articles in our continuing series about the broad perception of higher education, and the "value" equation surrounding the personal, institutional, and governmental investment in students and universities. You will also find two articles about the trends in state-provided resources for higher education and why those trends - in both Texas and nationally - exist. Lastly, you will read an opinion piece from a former Congressman regarding the need to re-authorize the Higher Education Act.
While some articles may include opinions and editorials, we hope that you will find the material informative, reasoned, and a refection of the many impassioned opinions surrounding the issue of higher education.
By all accounts, our recent Aggies on the Hill events in Washington, D.C., were a big success.  For a brief snapshot, click on this link.
Thanks and gig ’em,
Dave Fujimoto ’17
Director of Strategic Engagement

Polling and Perceptions of Higher Education

Americans Losing Faith in College Degrees, Poll Finds

"Americans are losing faith in the value of a college degree, with majorities of young adults, men and rural residents saying college isn’t worth the cost, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News [September 2017] survey shows.
The findings reflect an increase in public skepticism of higher education from just four years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines. Continue reading in The Wall Street Journal. (Paywall content)

Opinion: How Higher Ed Became a Partisan Wedge Issue

"Wisconsin is at the forefront of a nationwide effort to reshape higher education. Governors and legislators have grown tired of hearing about students who are saddled with debt, yet can’t find a job appropriate to their level of educational attainment. At the same time, employers tell them they can’t find workers with the training or education needed to fill jobs in fields such as advanced manufacturing. The vast majority of jobs created since the recession require some education or training beyond high school, but not necessarily a four-year degree."  Continue reading in Governing Magazine. 

Higher Education - State

Anemic' - State Funding Growth

"States’ financial support for higher education grew only slightly between the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, with more than a third of states decreasing their funding and another dozen increasing it only slightly, according to an annual survey released [in January]. Across the country, state fiscal support for higher education grew by just 1.6 percent, according to the Grapevine survey, which provides an early look each year at states’ funding for higher education. That was down sharply from a 4.2 percent increase last year and represents the lowest annual growth in the last five years."  Continue reading in Inside Higher Ed

Why Are States Spending Less on Higher Ed?

"Three decades of spending cuts by states have left public colleges with nearly 25 percent declines in state funding per student. What happened to the money that could have been invested in higher education during that time? Most of it went to Medicaid, according to a new study. 
The study, Higher Ed, Lower Spending: As States Cut Back, Where Has the Money Gone? found that state spending has increased for public-school education, prisons, police, and fire protection, but the largest spending increases have gone to public welfare. Public higher ed is the only category in spending decline."  Continue reading in the The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

Higher Education - Federal

Just Do It! - Modernize the Higher Education Act

"The last time Congress reauthorized the Higher Education Act was in 2008. George W. Bush was president and Margaret Spellings was secretary of Education. 

The world has changed dramatically during this decade. Just over 1.3 million Americans were experimenting with Smart Phones then. Today, over 2.6 billion are in use. Snapchat didn’t even exist. GPS was a printed Google map, not a piece of technology on your car or phone. TV Guide and Blockbuster were our foundations for video entertainment!"  Read more in The Hill.
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