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Private colleges and discount, 2020

Note: A reader pointed out that there are two years of data in this set (Fall 2021 enrolling data and Fall 2020 Financial Aid data).  In all probability, this will cause discount rates to be a bit lower on this view than in reality.  As always, don't take or make any important decisions based on information on a free website. Discount rate is a hot topic among private college leaders, and although it's an interesting measure, it's not as helpful as some people might think it is.  And it's a little hard to grasp and hard to explain.  But I'm going to try. Discount rate can be helpful when measuring yourself against yourself over time; and it can be helpful when measuring yourself against similar peers.  But as a thing unto itself?  Pretty worthless, actually.  Here's why. First some definitions: Discount rate measures the amount of institutional aid you award as a function of how much gross tuition you charge.  If you collect $10,000,000 in tuition, and award $4,
Recent posts

Yes, your yield rate is still falling, redux (2021)

I've been creating this data visualization, or some form of it, for several years now .  I think it's most useful for higher education enrollment professionals who have to explain to people at their university why their yield rate is falling.  The short answer is that applications and admits are increasing faster than student populations: If a student today applies to an average of seven colleges, compared to four colleges twenty years ago, yield rate almost has to go down.  I'm sure AI will fix this, and all our problems, very soon. But I've spoken to others who use this other ways: To work with students to talk about chances for admission; to show parents how things have changed in the past twenty years; or to help journalists understand the lay of the land.  Whatever you use this for, I hope it's instructive, and I hope you feel free to share it widely. And if you work in a college or university and save yourself some time by using this, or if you work with clien

The Top 10 Things I Wish Tableau Would Announce

This is a sort of a lull for Higher Ed Data Stories.  It's summer, for one, and the data release cycles have not yet geared up. So instead, I want to write about the ten things that would make it easier to produce HEDS on those occasions when there is good data to work with.  You know I use Tableau to create the data visualizations you find here. It's been a tool that has changed my career: The value of being able to answer questions with a click (especially when you're in a room with someone up the hierarchy and that person is doing the asking) can't be overstated. The original vision of Tableau--To allow people to see and interact with their data--was made just for people like me: Interested, a bit curious, but not especially technically proficient.  I owe a lot to the company (and there are probably at least 25 colleges who got introduced to Tableau through my early excitement about the product, so maybe they owe me a bit, too, even though I know Higher Ed is not a h

The Last AP Post?

I'm not sure if this will be the last AP post I make, but it sure seems that way, unless people (including those of us who are members of the, you know, membership organization called College Board) put enough pressure on them to continue providing data in the detailed format like they've always done. In case you don't know, College Board used to put very granular data on its website, for anyone to download and examine.  You could look at data by state, by student ethnicity, by specific exam, and by AP score.  For instance, this was a sample from one of the years showing the state of Alabama.  You can see the data, and at the bottom, see other breakouts: Public schools, male/female, 11th/12th graders, etc.  It was a gold mine of data, if you wanted to spend the time looking and digging and calculating.  I've only scratched the surface in the three or four posts I've done on this blog, partly because the data are in spreadsheet format, and it takes a lot of cleanup

Does the admissions process favor men?

There is another article making the rounds in higher education about the advantages men have in the admissions process.  It's sort of interesting, because while you can look at the available data a lot of different ways, you'd really need to look at the data you can't see to draw the conclusions everyone seems to have drawn. Here is the article , and what you'll probably notice is that the headline--the part everyone reads--is sort of walked back in the article.  I know the people who write the headlines are not the same people who write the article, but sometimes it seems like the two should actually, you know, talk to each other. First, the data, in three views below, followed by a caveat: The first view, Individual Institutions , shows all the public and private, not-for-profit four-year institutions who a) admit freshmen, b) publish data for both men and women (which excludes a lot of women's colleges, and Yeshivahs, for instance) and c) say they are not open ad

Doctoral recipients by bachelor's degree-granting institution, 2016-2020

Each time I publish this visualization I get a lot of traffic on the site, and I can see why. It shows all doctoral recipients (in 2016-2020) broken out by where they received their bachelor's degrees.  So, for instance, the top level view shows that UC Berkeley is the alma mater of more doctoral recipients than any other institution, followed by The University of Michigan and Cornell University. That would be interesting, but of course, these are large institutions, and it's natural to think lots of graduates will lead to lots of doctoral degrees.  No surprise there. So the visualization allows you to look at the types of colleges you or your students might want: Select a state, select public or private, select by Carnegie type if you wish.  You can also look at HBCUs if you'd like.  Most important, you can filter by doctoral degree, so if you want to see which institution sends the most students to doctorates in chemistry, you can do so. To head off the questions I get ev

Abortion policy and freshman migration, 2018 and 2020

The recent SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has set off an interesting debate about student college choice.  People who favor legal access to abortion seem convinced that students--especially women--will change their college plans based on the climate in the state of the college(s) they're considering. Will it?  I don't know.  I do know that when everyone seems to be convinced of something related to college admissions and student choice, the reality is often very different than the predictions, after all is said and done.  And on the other hand, this feels different, somehow.  To repeat: I don't know. Of course, the ability of students to migrate across state lines is generally reserved for those with more wealth and privilege, and as I've demonstrated before ( here and here ), educated and wealthier communities tend to vote Democratic, and thus, are more likely to be pro-choice and more likely to be upset by the SCOTUS decision.  And I, like a lot of people, live