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Showing posts from December, 2014

Another 1000 Words and Ten Charts on First-generation, Low-income, and Minority Students

I have always enjoyed writing, and I consider this and my other blog like a hobby.  Usually, I spend no more than 45 minutes on any post, as I don't make my living by writing, and my blogs are not "monetized." But once in a while, an opportunity presents itself to write for a wider audience, and that's when I see what it takes to make a living putting words to paper. That happened this week.

You may have seen my opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If not, you can read it first, read it last, or not at all; I think both this and that stand alone, despite their relationship.  In the end, we ended up with about 40% of my first draft, which is what happens when you write for a print publication. And of course, a print publication makes interactive charts, well, difficult.

I think there is more to say on the topic, because the similarities in recruitment challenges for first-generation, low-income, and minority students tend to look a lot alike, and the mo…

Looking at Student Loan Default Rates

Student Loan defaults make a lot of news, but there is not a lot of understanding about what a default actually is, and there is not good, easily accessible data on default rates, nor a lot of good contextual analysis.  But this may help a little.

First, the source of the data is here.  You should read it, especially  the part about small numbers of students entering payment, or small percentages of students taking loans at a college skewing default rates.  You should also know that the definition of a default is being at least 270 days behind on a payment.

This is not the easiest data to work with.  For one thing, the file layout descriptions don't match the file; Financial Aid uses a different ID than IPEDS, and the crosswalk tables that might help you figure out the IPEDS ID (to get a richer view of context) use a different format than this table does. In addition the "Region" doesn't roll up the states in any way I've seen before, and the "Program Type&q…