Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

Degrees Awarded by Major and Institution

One of the most common questions people in our profession hear has to do with availability of specific--sometimes fairly narrowly focused--degree programs.  Which university offers marine biology? In Kansas?  Who has a program in network security?  Wonder no more.

Please be sure to read the instructions about interacting with this dashboard, to ensure you get the best results.  Then click on the tab at the top to take you to the interactive visualization.

Learn About Tableau

The Race Goes On: Who wins?

If you know much about higher education, you know that about 80% of college students enrolled in not-for-profit institutions the US attend public universities and colleges.  Nine percent of all college enrollments, for instance, are in California Community Colleges.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe public universities--whether they are the state's flagship or a university with two directions in its name--have an obligation at some level to the citizens of the state who support it. And by "citizens of the state" I mean all citizens.

People at the university, of course, are often focused on making the university more prestigious; look at almost any strategic plan, for instance, and you're likely to find something about "improving academic quality as measured by standardized test scores," or something very similar.

One problem: The two goals tend to be in conflict with each other.

So for this visualization, I made it very simple: I took public institutions…

Endowment Data from 847 Colleges and Universities

The 2014 NACUBO report on college and university endowments is hot off the presses.  Unfortunately, it's in a table in a pdf on the organization's website.  So, after considerable frustration to get the data into useable format, it's now visualized here for you.

Note that there are three different views, and you can change them by clicking the tabs across the top:

Endowment Value Dashboard is a heat map, which is sort of like a pie chart, except it's like a sheet cake cut into pieces the size of the listed university endowment. The 847 institutions in the study collectively hold about $455B in endowment funds.  You can see the pieces of the cake: Harvard's for instance, is about $32B, or 7% of all the endowments of all the colleges and universities in the country. The pieces are colored by the percentage gain in one year.  For instance, Stanford gained $1.6B between 2012 and 2013, but the 10% increase only ranked it 483rd.  When you have a lot, you don't need a …

Origins of International Students in the US, 2012

Good data on international students enrolled in the US is really hard to find.  There is this awful table of data from NCES, in which it's almost impossible to discern which groups are discreet and which are rolled up into other groups, for instance.  Other things on the web are very high-level with almost no granularity, and thus, almost no insight to be had.
This from the Institute of International Education is only slightly better, showing just the top ten countries of origins, but breaking enrollment out into four levels.  The top ten countries account for about 67% of all enrollments of international students, so it's robust, especially when you see the relative contribution of Turkey (#10) compared to China (#1).
Use the two filters to limit the all three views, but be sure to understand that the bottom two (showing different percents of total) start with just 67% of all international students, and the base decreases as you filter countries or levels out.

Learn About Tabl…

Education and Inflation

The cost of (almost) everything keeps going up, so it can be hard to tell whether inflation is to blame, or something else.  Let's ask FRED.

FRED is the data service of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, and it provides a wealth of consumer and economic data for you to download and work with, including CPI and Chained CPI data.  For this visualization, I simply downloaded Chained CPI data for several consumer goods, like Housing, Fuel and Utilities, and Medical Expenses. Given the name of this blog, you can probably figure out where this is going.

Use the filters to show only the series or group of series you're interested in comparing. Hover over a point for details.

Many people and economists (not that those are necessarily discreet) argue with the idea of Chained CPI, but the nuances are beside the point for this purpose, I think.  It's interesting to see the comparisons between and among different categories of consumer goods; it's even more interesting to think economi…

Nominal Income Expectations

We'd like to think that higher education operates in a vacuum, and that the demand for what we offer is mostly inelastic.  But if you've been to other posts on this blog, you know that family income adjusted for inflation has fallen since 2000.  You know that the number of high school graduates is changing demographically and shrinking in many parts of the country.  And you know that colleges continue to raise price irrationally.

Here's something else: The University of Michigan and Thompson Reuters have been asking people since at least 1976 what they expect to happen to their income in the next twelve months.  This chart is very intimidating at first, but use the filters to look at certain groups: Try, for instance, to see what percentage of people over time think their income will decrease.  Then add "stay the same" to see recent trends most adults haven't seen or don't remember.  (Note: Be sure to click "apply" to make the chart update; hove…

Changes in College Costs Over Time

Fresh from the 2013 Digest of Education Statistics comes one of the most popular tables: Average College Costs over Time, showing lots of stuff, including what I've visualized here: Average Tuition, Room, Board, and Required Fees for four-year, public and private colleges and universities in the US since 1969.

But before I begin, a caveat: Don't use this data to try to figure out how much you or your student is going to pay at any particular college.  Don't tell me the averages are too low.  This is NCES Data, and it's not always exactly what it's made out to be.  For instance, it seems that the growth in for-profit institutions has skewed the private costs low; I'd prefer to show only four-year, not-for-profit private universities, but that data does not go back quite as far, and I thought the longer trend was more interesting.  For reference, using just not-for-profits in 2012 would bump the average shown from $35,074 to $39,302.  Adjust accordingly.

Still, t…