Jon Marcus
Jon Marcus, higher-education editor, has written about higher education for the Washington Post, USA Today, Time, NBCNews.com, the Miami Herald, the Boston Globe, Washington Monthly, and other magazines and newspapers. He also is the North America higher-education correspondent for the Times (U.K.) Higher Education magazine. His Hechinger higher-education coverage has won national awards from the Education Writers Association and he was a finalist for an award for beat reporting from the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The former editor of Boston magazine, Marcus holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Bates College. He teaches journalism at Boston College and Boston University.

New standards seek to measure what students actually know

As students, employers, and policymakers continue to question whether earning a college degree really proves that graduates are ready for work, a new set of voluntary standards proposes to set out what they should be learning—and measure whether or not they have. The Degree Qualifications Profile specifies what students should know and be able to […]

Want higher-ed reform? You may be surprised where you’ll find it

As a top student in high school, Amy Miramontes-Franco knew she was destined for college. But she surprised even herself when, for financial reasons and because she hadn’t yet decided on a major, she began her higher education at a local community college. “In all honesty, I had this mentality where I had worked so […]

LinkedIn ranks colleges by whether their graduates get “desirable” jobs

The nation’s preeminent job networking site is harnessing its vast databanks to join the crowded university and college rankings game, in its case by ranking colleges and universities based on the proportion of their graduates who get “desirable” jobs. Detailed job-placement information by institution is generally not available, including from colleges and universities themselves, which […]

Colleges take cues from private business to improve their customer service

CLAYTON, Missouri — The man in the impeccably tailored black suit has the people in his audience engrossed as he describes the secrets that have made his multibillion-dollar company internationally known for customer service. They’re here to find out how to do a better job of it themselves, in this case from a general manager […]

The real cost of college? It’s probably even higher than you think

When Alex Nichols started as a freshman at the University of Mississippi, he felt sure he’d earn his bachelor’s degree in four years. Nichols is about to return to the campus for his fifth successive fall. “There are a lot more students staying another semester or another year than I thought there would be when […]

Some degrees produce no bump in earnings, research finds

WASHINGTON, DC – New research unveiled here has exposed an exception to the higher-education mantra that people with degrees earn more than people without them. The research, conducted under the aegis of the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment and focused on community colleges, confirms the widely accepted belief that many graduates make […]

Colleges let taxpayers help poor students while they go after rich, report says

In what it calls “an elaborate shell game,” universities and colleges are shifting their financial aid from low-income students to high-income ones to bolster their prestige and raise them up the rankings, a new report says. Meanwhile, according to the report by the nonprofit, nonpartisan New America Foundation, universities are leaving their poorest families to […]

College-rating proposal shines spotlight on powerful lobby

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The annual meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities this year had the tone of a revival meeting. “We have been under steady, unrelenting pressure,” declared the organization’s president, David Warren, who spoke of “an overreaching executive branch” he said sought to use unreliable statistics to measure the effectiveness […]

Increase in student transfers worrying alumni offices

Maya Gunaseharan spent her first year in college at American University, then transferred to Cornell. And that was after 12 years at a private school in New Jersey. Now all three ask her to contribute money. “I do feel a pull, because I had a really great first year at American,” said Gunaseharan, who is […]

Community college district tries full slate of innovations, all at once

TEMPE, Arizona — Hidden at the edge of an industrial park near the Phoenix airport, housed in a handful of utilitarian buildings with no grassy quadrangles or ivy crawling up red brick, Rio Salado Community College doesn’t look much like a typical higher-education institution. It doesn’t act like one, either. Rio Salado has just 23 […]

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