Universities, Inc.

Universities run much like any other human institutions, something that seems as obvious as it has long been misunderstood. They need revenue, market themselves, and in general serve their self interest. We look at how American higher education operates in ways that many Americans may not know. See all our Special Reports

In 2015 and 2016, 3.9 million college students dropped out of college with debt, Jill Barshay wrote in The Hechinger Report. Data from College Scorecard of the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

OPINION: Can ‘risk-share’ financial aid models reverse some ‘alarming data’ on student completion rates?

Strayer’s president on ‘skin in the game’ and an incentive program that’s working

Rural students are the least likely to go to college

They’re being ignored as the nation tries to ramp up degree completion

OPINION: Research confirms an urgent need to improve how students are supported when choosing college majors

First-gen and minority students suffer from a lack of professional advice

New research questions the value of certificates pushed by colleges, policymakers

Studies suggest these popular credentials often don’t improve job prospects or pay

Clark Atlanta University students Destiny Rudolph, Delaina Mims, Charles Finch and Jewel Cannon meet on the steps of the Joseph W. Woodruff Library, which is shared among four Atlanta colleges and universities. Higher-education institutions increasingly are pooling their resources to cut costs.

Colleges and universities join together to survive enrollment and financial problems

Many schools are setting up alliances to save on everything from software to security

Like their students, colleges are vastly increasing the amount they borrow

Hoping to boost enrollments with new features, institutions take on billions in debt

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How one college’s death and rebirth offers lessons for the rest

Antioch College has become a textbook case for other troubled schools to study

Josh Caouette, a graduate student at Simmons College, crams for a test. Caouette is resigned to the cost of his degree. “If it’s helping others, that’s fine by me. I mean, I have to do it either way.”

In-demand graduate programs become a cash cow for colleges in financial distress

Some graduate students decry the strategy, but they’re “where the money is”

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