Staffordshire University March 25, Access to Higher Education in the United States: Issues and Challenges

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1 Institute for Education Policy Research Staffordshire University March 25, 2009 Access to Higher Education in the United States: Issues and Challenges Donald E. Heller

2 Overview Measures of college access Determinants of college access Challenges Similarities and differences with England Questions and discussion 2009, Donald E. Heller 2

3 Snapshot of higher education in the U.S. 4,200 accredited institutions (40% public/60% private) 18 million students 75% in public institutions, 25% private 1.5 million bachelor s degrees 700,000 sub-baccalaureate baccalaureate degrees/certificates 700,000 post-baccalaureate degrees 3.4 million employees (1.3 million faculty) Expenditures: approx. $325 billion in ( 224 billion) 2009, Donald E. Heller U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics 3

4 College participation by income >$116,050 $68, ,050 $39,500 68,925 <$39, , Donald E. Heller Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY 4

5 College participation by race % of HS graduates enrolling in college within 12 months of HS graduation 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% year rolling averages White Black Hispanic 2009, Donald E. Heller NCES, Digest of Education Statistics 2007, Table 192 5

6 The educational pipeline th graders by family income in % 94% 99% 96% 93% 80% 72% 64% 77% 60% 40% 33% 20% 0% Planned to attend HS diploma Any college 4-year college college enrollment by '94 enrollment by '94 < $25,000 > $75, , Donald E. Heller Author s calculations from NELS:88 and ACSFA, Empty Promises 6

7 Most recent longitudinal data th graders, as of 2006 White Black Hispanic Native American Asian American 51% 59% 62% 75% 82% 81% 75% 82% 91% 93% <$20,000 $20,000 - $50,000 $50,000 - $100,000 >$100,000 52% 63% 78% 78% 85% 92% 96% 91% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Graduated HS Attended College 2009, Donald E. Heller NCES ELS:2002 ( ) 7

8 Stratification in higher education Distribution of each income quartile by sector and attendance dependent students 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 48% 17% 25% 11% 29% 11% 45% 15% 34% 12% 38% 16% 36% 15% 35% 14% 4-yr FT 4-yr other Comm. Coll. Other inst. Bottom Lower middle Upper middle Top 2009, Donald E. Heller Author s calculations from NPSAS:2003 8

9 Determinants of college access Academic factors Financial factors Social and cultural factors 2009, Donald E. Heller 9

10 Academic achievement U.S. 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 45% White African American Latino 29% 25% 20% 15% 17% 20% 15% 21% 19% 10% 5% 0% 9% 6% 6% 1% 1% Reading Math Calculus Bio, Chem, & Physics % scoring at highest level on NAEP-17 % of HS grads who took , Donald E. Heller NCES, Digest of Education Statistics 10

11 Academic achievement - PSSA % scoring proficient or advanced (grade 11) 80% Math Reading 70% 65% 72% 60% 54% 59% 50% 42% 40% 30% 26% 32% 28% 24% 36% 36% 28% 25% 20% 14% 12% 19% 10% 0% All ELL Econ. Disadv. IEP Migrant White African American Latino 2009, Donald E. Heller PA Dept. of Education 11

12 Changes in tuition prices and income Increase since 1980, constant dollars 225% 200% Private 4-year tuition Public 4-year tuition (in-state) 175% 150% 125% Comm. college tuition Poorest 20% of families Richest 20% of families $6,585 $17,452 $2, % 75% 50% $187,000 25% 0% -25% $16, , Donald E. Heller College Board, Census Bureau 12

13 Fees and financial aid undergraduates, billions of dollars Students attending one institution full time (7.1 million, ~50% of all UG) Other loans Fees paid (for all) Total: $123B ( 85B) Mean: $17, ( 11,828) $4.0 8% $8.7 Federal loans $ % Federal grants 17% Financial aid Total: $50B ( 34B) Mean: $7,000 ( 4,827) 10% Merit bursaries $6.0 12% State need grants $3.1 6% State merit grants $0.9 2% Need bursaries $5.2 10% 2009, Donald E. Heller Author s calculations from NPSAS 13

14 Grants to high-income income students Proportion of dependent students receiving grants, by income group ( ) <$54,249 (Census median) 27% 26% $54,249 - $108,497 13% 25% $108,497 - $164,104 (95th %) 7% $2.3 billion 22% >$164,104 6% 19% Institutional grants State grants 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 2009, Donald E. Heller Heller, WISCAPE

15 The educational pipeline college-qualified students th graders by family income in % 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 96% 78% 83% 62% 52% Gap between rich and poor 21% 18 points 31 points 41 points Any college enrollment 4-year college Complete BA degree by by '94 enrollment by '94 '00 < $25,000 > $75, , Donald E. Heller ACSFA, Empty Promises 15

16 Financial vs. Academic Barriers Proportion of 1992 High School Graduates Attending College by 1994 Socioeconomic Status Quartile Lowest Highest Achievement Quartile Lowest 36% 77% Highest 78% 97% 2009, Donald E. Heller 16

17 Challenges Closing the gap in academic preparation Restraining the growth in tuition fees Funding for targeted financial aid programs Overcoming the notion of higher education as purely a private good Changing demographics 2009, Donald E. Heller 18

18 Differences in England England and the U.S. One, rather than 51, sources of public funding Government control of fee caps One loan provider Maintenance grants that are structured as entitlements, with strong government support Politically powerful unions (staff and students) Similarities Competition for government resources Some constraints on student contributions 2009, Donald E. Heller 19

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