Higher education decisions—such as whether to pursue a degree, which type, and at which institution— have lasting impacts on students and their futures. Unfortunately, too many students and families struggle to find clear, reliable information on the prospective colleges they are considering, like whether they are likely to graduate with the skills needed to find a well-paying job and repay their loans successfully.
Even though my father was a guidance counselor, choosing a college was still an overwhelming process. There were few independent reviews of colleges and no real way of knowing if the information I found was accurate. Unearthing lesser known, high quality colleges outside of my region was tough. It was even tougher to figure out if a college’s students found jobs after graduating or even graduated at all. In short, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
The Obama Administration today announced that 61 higher education institutions and systems have committed to take the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge, joining the 25 signatories that took the pledge when it was first announced in June. In total, the 61 higher education signatories, representing 172 individual campuses, currently serve over 1.8 million students.
These four-year public colleges offer their students an affordable higher education, with relatively high salaries. As students weigh the costs and benefits of higher education, it’s especially important to find schools that can offer them the best possible outcomes. For students looking for a high return on investment, these institutions may offer good opportunities.
These public, two-year (community) colleges have the highest earnings of any community college in the state. Note that earnings might vary significantly depending on the program you study – for instance, some of these schools offer a large number of technical or health programs that tend to be higher-earning majors. Students who transfer to a four-year college and graduate with a bachelor’s degree may also earn more after college. Ask the colleges you are considering attending for more information.
These four-year public and private nonprofit colleges enroll over 40% low-income students at the school, and have good outcomes for those students. All of them boast above-average Pell enrollment, an affordable net price, and good graduation rates for their students (including their low-income students). That’s important, because graduating from college has been shown to lead to higher earnings, lower unemployment, and a lower likelihood of defaulting on their loans.
These public, two-year (community) colleges enroll over 40% low-income students at the school, and have relatively high outcomes for those students. In total, low-income students at these schools averaged at least $30,000 in earnings 10 years after they first enrolled at the school. In addition, over 70% of all borrowers at these schools were successfully repaying their loans three years after they left school.
The U.S. Department of Education today announced new resources to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher leadership and to build on work by local districts and states to improve teaching and student learning outcomes through the effective use of technology in the classroom.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education released the America's College Promise Playbook, a comprehensive and up-to-date resource guide that provides practitioners with relevant and actionable information about how they can offer more students access to an affordable, high-quality education through which students can go as far as their talents and work ethic can take them.
"In America, opportunity can never be rationed. It cannot be a perk set aside for some and denied to others. Opportunity must be available to all. Opportunity and education are not only the foundation of our economy, they are also the foundation of our democracy and the American way of life." – U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr.