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Showing posts from May, 2015

Does Ethnicity Determine Where You Go to College?

The answer to the headline, of course, is "no."  Race is not determinant of where you go to college, but race--or more probably the factors that vary with race and ethnicity--may influence your college choice set, which can, of course, influence where you go to college.

I've written before about how all these variables are at play with each other: In America, race, income, parental attainment, and presumably, opportunity, all cluster together.

And, after you look at this, you'll see how opportunity gets distributed by race, provided you're willing to click a button or two.  The visualization starts off showing all undergraduate enrollment in almost 7,000 post-secondary institutions who report to IPEDS.  (And before you object, I've believe strongly that the college you attend is not your destiny, and that education is what you make of it, as I've written before on my other blog. But it's also clear that many people believe talent congregates at the &q…

Endowments Over Time

Is it true that the rich get richer, as suggested by a recent Washington Post article discussing college endowments?  Probably.

But what's more interesting is the pecking order in the world of endowments, and how it's changed (or not) over the last decade or so.  I downloaded trend data from IPEDS showing beginning of year endowment by fiscal year for about 160 four-year private institutions with enrollments of at least 5,000.  To be sure, there are some very well endowed colleges who have smaller enrollments (Williams, Pomona, Grinnell, etc.) but this chart could get messy pretty fast.

I pulled the data into Tableau and created a bump chart, showing not the value over time (because everyone does that) but rather the rank of all the endowments shown.  So, for instance, if a line slopes down, it might mean a college has gone from 10th to 20; a slope up might show the opposite.

But what we see here are lines that are essentially flat.  There are a couple anomalies, of course, an…

A Look at Federal Loans for Students

We hear all the time about the student loan bubble.  Is it a problem?  Like most things, it depends on how you look at it.  Here is data viewed from a very high level, without the benefit of being able to drill down.

It shows the status of the government's student loan portfolio, broken out by the older FFEL programs and the currently existing Direct Loan Program; the FFEL loans are older, while the Direct Loans are a mixture of old and new.

Some interesting trends appear, even over relatively short periods of time.  What do you see?

And, if we had access to better, more granular data, what would you like to see?



Yes, Your Yield Rate is Falling

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education pointed out the things colleges are doing to bolster their yield rates.  This of course, raised an interesting question among many outside of higher education: What's a yield rate?

Colleges admit many more students than they want to enroll, of course.  But let's say you want to enroll a class of 1,000.  How many, exactly, do you need to admit?  Most of the students you admit will have more offers than the ones you send, and they can only enroll in one place. So, if you admit 2,000, you need exactly half of them to enroll, which would mean a yield rate of 50%.  If you're not confident you can get that kind of yield, you admit more: 2,500 with a 40% yield rate gets you that same number (40% of 2,500).  But with most institutions, yield rates are closer to 30%, so that means 3,333.  Or thereabouts.

Alas, many colleges are afraid of that admit rate (the percentage of applicants admitted) getting too high, because for many p…