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What This Blog is About

Almost all cultures have a tradition of telling stories. I've long believed data can make stories richer and can provide more insight into the things we live out each day. And I think the stories I can tell that most need telling are about Higher Education in the United States.

In college, my favorite class was called "Belief and Unbelief in History." It was one of those classes that most students hate: No "right" answers, no being able to memorize the content for the exams. In fact, there was no syllabus: On the first day of class, Professor Richard Resch said, "This class is about the stories of the stories that people tell to explain their belief in the divine." There was a mid-term, but it didn't count. There was only one test, the final, and on it, one question, which he announced: Tell the story of the stories.

I've noticed for a while that there is a story of the stories that data reveals. And I hope you'll notice it too, but there is no right or wrong answer, and mercifully, no midterm. No final. You can Google me to contact me; as far as I know, I'm the only person in the world with this name, so it shouldn't be hard. I hope you'll let me know what you think, or offer suggestions for posts.

Stories are on the "Higher Ed Data Stories" link above.

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2018 Admissions Data

This is always a popular post, it seems, and I've had a couple of people already ask when it was going to be out.  Wait no more.

This is IPEDS 2018 admissions data, visualized for you in two different ways.  You can switch using the tabs across the top.

The first view is the universe of colleges and universities that report data; not every college is required to, and a few leave data out, and test optional colleges are not supposed to report test scores.  But IPEDS is not perfect, so if you find any problems, contact the college.

On the first view, you'll see 1,359 four-year private and public, not-for-profit institutions displayed.  In order to make this as clean as possible, I've taken out some specialty schools (nursing, business, engineering, etc.) as many of those don't have complete data.  But you can put them back in using the filter at top right.

Hover over any bar, and a little chart pops up showing undergraduate enrollment by ethnicity.

You can also choose to…

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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.

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