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Private College and University Tuition Discount Rates, 2010, 2014, and 2018

There is almost nothing that enrollment managers and CFOs and trustees talk about at private universities these days more than discount rates.  Because, as I wrote recently , colleges are not-for-profits, but they're not charities; they need revenue to keep the business running because electric bills, faculty salaries, and test tubes are all paid for in cash. And while I no longer work at a private university, this is still important because the financial health of one sector affects all other members of the industry in some way.  This is important information for you to know. Discount rate determines how much cash you actually receive from each student after you award institutional financial aid.  If you understand discount, you can skip over the blue section below and go right to the explanation of the visualization.  If not, here's how EM people think about it.  Don't worry if you're confused; it is a difficult concept to understand. You charge a tuition.  And you of
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Let's talk about library books

This post had two inspirations: First, I was scrolling around the IPEDS data center one night, looking for something to visualize that I hadn't before that I thought would be interesting. I scrolled through all the variables, and found the Academic Libraries section.  I was certain that I had never even looked at the data, so put it in the back of my mind. The second thing that led me to this data was thinking about my discussions with high school counselors after they come back from campus tours: Just how often they've heard the same things from tour guides who are quite convinced the counselors have never heard it before (the blue safety lights comes to mind, along with the perfunctory mention of the number of books in the library.) The latter is not an unimportant statistic, of course, as the library has long been at the heart of the intellectual life of an institution dedicated to intellectual pursuits.  But what do those numbers mean?  Are comparisons between institutions

Doctoral recipients in the US, by ethnicity over time

A while ago I published this visualization , showing the baccalaureate institutions of doctoral degree recipients over about 60 years.  It's a post I do every few years, and it always seems to be helpful for high school and independent counselors who work with students and families, and just interesting for the rest of us.  Shortly after posting, I got an email from colleague Crys Latham at Washington Latin who wanted to know if you could look at that data by ethnicity.  The answer, unfortunately, is no: You can choose to download the data by undergraduate institution or ethnicity of the recipients, but not both.  (Perhaps NSF will give more granular data to bona fide academic researchers, so maybe someone can find out.) However, that got me thinking a bit, so I went back and looked at the tables again. I downloaded ethnicity of doctoral recipients since 1983, in five year increments, and created the visualization below.  It's pretty simple, and if someone with better skills w

Fresh WICHE data: Projections of High School Graduates

The good folks at WICHE just released some fresh data on high school graduates, past, present, and future, and as always, it's interesting.  Their website has some excellent summaries, and some interactive dashboards, but I like to download the data and create my own views, some of which I'm sharing here. If you've looked at this before, you know all the disclaimers about the accuracy of the data; it seems to be pretty good, but data this big is complicated and hard to work with, and it's never perfect.  In fact, the staff there said that prior year's estimates were a little short due to an unanticipated bump in high school graduation rates.  Good news. The point is this: This data gives you a good place to put your feet down and get a glimpse--but not a perfect view--of the future.  It may and probably should help you with your planning efforts, and especially to talk to people at your institution about current and future realities.  Of course, it's not just n

Baccalaureate origins of doctoral recipients

Here's a little data for you: 61 years of it, to be precise.  The National Science Foundation publishes its data on US doctoral recipients sliced a variety of ways, including some non-restricted public use files that are aggregated at a high level to protect privacy. The interface is a little quirky, and if you're doing large sets, you need to break it into pieces (this was three extracts of about 20 years each), but it may be worth your time to dive in. I merged the data set with my mega table of IPEDS data, which allows you to look at institutions on a more granular level:  It's not surprising to find that University of Washington graduates have earned more degrees than graduates of Whitman College, for instance.  So, you can filter the data by Carnegie type, region or state, or control, for instance; or you can look at all 61 years, or any range of years between 1958 and 2018 and combine it with broad or specific academic fields using the controls. High school and indep

How many colleges are there, anyway (2019)?

 How many colleges are there, anyway?  If you're talking about the US, no one really knows.  There are a lot of reasons for this, some of which are definitional: Do you include cosmetology colleges?  Welding schools? Schools of massage therapy?  IPEDS includes many post-secondary options for students that don't offer an English or a history major.  So it's complicated. You can go to IPEDS and make your selection using "All institutions" and you'll find the "answer" is 6,527, but that's not quite right: That's how many colleges are in IPEDS, and you only have to be in IPEDS if you accept Title IV funding.  There are lots of schools in the US, like The Classical College of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; or John Witherspoon College of Rapid City, South Dakota; or Wyoming Catholic College of Lander, Wyoming, that don't take Title IV funding, and thus don't report to IPEDS.  And to complicate matters, there are colleges that don't accept Titl

State Flagship Tuitions over time

This should be a pretty easy one.  Every year, the College Board puts out data on college tuition and financial aid .  It's a great service, but of course it's all spreadsheets.  Not fun to work with.  But you can interact with the data below. Four views for you to look at: View one is just ranks: Where does your state flagship rank on tuition and fees for residents and non-residents?  Just pick which type of tuition you want to see, then use the highlighter to call out your state's flagship.  On this chart, 50 (at the top) is the highest rate; 1 (at the bottom) is the lowest. View two is a map to see relative values: Here, purple is low, and orange is high.  Choose a year, then choose a value to display: Resident tuition, non-resident tuition; non-resident premium (how much more a non-resident pays), and non-resident percent (that premium as a function of the resident rate.) View three is a single institution over time, showing your choice of inflation-adjusted dollars to