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The College Finder

Note: A few people have commented on slow loading with the visualization.  If you have troubles, click here to be taken right to the visualization .  It should open in a new tab and you can follow along from there.    This is always a popular post with high school counselors, IECs, parents, and students who are looking for general information on degrees awarded, or a very specific combination of academic programs, location, and other institutional characteristics. It uses IPEDS data I downloaded as soon as I can when it became available (and before a looming government shutdown), and shows all 1,700 majors recognized by the federal government in the IPEDS system, using CIP codes, and the number of degrees awarded by college in any selected area. For instance, you might have a question about which college awards the most degrees in French Language and Literature: A few clicks, and you find it's the University of Arizona.  If you want a colder climate, choose the Great Lakes region,
Recent posts

Urban and rural gaps in educational attainment

College attainment is a compelling topic for me.  Both of my parents had educations that stopped at the 8th grade (although my mother got a GED as an adult), and none of my siblings graduated from college.  So I'm keenly aware of the value of a college degree, and the importance of the opportunity to earn a degree. But where opportunity resides, and how that has shifted over time, are both important topics worthy of exploration and discussion. I suppose it's no secret that urban areas in the US have more college educated people than rural areas do.  But has it always been that way? Yes.  And no. Yes, it's always been that way because on average, rural areas have always had lower college degree attainment rates that urban areas. No, it's not always been as bad as it is now.  As educational attainment in the US increased ( see this visualization , which was so astonishing to me that I had to check the numbers; I've updated it here ) most of that increase has accrued i

New AP Data Over Time

The College Board has finally put new AP data up on its website after a hiatus of a couple of years.  I had previously blogged about their decision to take it down from their website, after some attention that removal had received in the national press , and, unfortunately, some amplification by the right-wing elements who believe that differences in scores by ethnicity are driven by innate biological attributes, rather than things like parental attainment, family income, and opportunity, all of which look a lot like ethnicity to people who feel bad about themselves.   I did a special visualization for them to show some of these patterns. Choose national or state, and see how mean AP scores line up with median family income (the visualization is purposely abstruse, by the way, with no labels on the data points or axes.) Anyway, the new data are up, but in different formats from those that had been previously provided. College Board (in its effort to " streamlin

Enrollment? It's complicated

I don't mean the business of enrollment is complicated (although it is, at times); I mean talking about enrollment is complicated.  When I get on the elevator with someone, the question is always, "how is enrollment looking?" Unless everything is wonderful, or everything is awful, there is really no answer to that, because even at one institution, enrollment is made up of several different types of enrollment: New first-year, new transfers, overall graduates, overall undergraduates. returning students, full-time, part-time, students in different colleges, and, if you work at a public institution, residents and nonresidents. There are ebbs and flows in all those streams, but of course, the average elevator ride is not long enough to explain that all. So, too, our national discussions about enrollment are complicated.  You have heard about the enrollment crisis, of course, but when you dive down, you see it's really mostly a challenge at our nation's community colle

What do counselors think about test-optional admission?

Last week, we conducted a--well, not a survey, exactly--of high school and independent counselors, asking them what they thought about test-optional and test-free admission policies.  This is more a testing of the waters of those interested enough and motivated enough to respond. So, before the fans of tests (who can do their own testing of the water at any time, of course), point this out, file this under "interesting, but not definitive."  It might drive discussions, but it won't make a decision for us.  And it shouldn't for you, either. We received about 440 responses, mostly responding to an email we sent to high school counselors across the country.  Those responses came from all over, including some from schools that had probably never sent an applicant, let alone an enrolling student to OSU; but we can't be sure because the survey was anonymous.  But we received almost as many responses from Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey as we did from Oregon, int

Do test-optional policies increase diversity?

If you want a definitive answer, you can stop now.  As Mark Twain allegedly said, "I was gratified to be able to give an answer right away.  I said I didn't know." However, critics of test optional like to trot out this study from 2014 , suggesting test-optional policies do not increase diversity. There are a couple of problems with using that paper to prop up this argument, however: First, the study included about 200 liberal arts colleges, and nowhere does it suggest that the conclusions can be generalized, or even that the results are reflective of reality every where else.  Second, the study explicitly states that the SAT sorts students by social class, not just academic ability.  You can't cite the outcomes without including lines like, "Despite the clear relationship between privilege and standardized test performance..." but somehow test lovers overlook that.  Finally, admissions, opportunity, culture, and policy are complex.  The belief that waving a

Enrollment trends, 2011-2021

Fresh IPEDS data dropped this week, and my evenings have been busy downloading, cleaning, and structuring the data.  Since it's the holiday season, I won't even complain that IPEDS could make this all easy for anyone who wants to get the data, but then I suppose I'd have to shut down the blog. This is pretty easy, I think: Answer almost any important enrollment question you might have about the last eleven years (as long as you don't want information about even-numbered years, of course). There are two types of controls here: The ones in the blue boxes allow you to select only certain elements of the data.  You might want to look at enrollment trends for full-time, female, undergraduate students.  Three clicks in the boxes and you're there. You can also look at individual institutions or a handful of institutions.  That filter is at the very top.  Hover over the Big Question Mark at top left for instructions about how that filter works. Finally, once you've sele