Higher Education

Even as policymakers push to increase the proportion of Americans with degrees, university and college students and their families contend with ever-rising costs and debt, low success rates, and growing concern about equal access to a higher education. We cover the causes of these problems, and the innovations being tried to solve them.

Student loan default rates inch down as for-profit sector contracts

Rise in income-based repayment plans masks distress that default rates used to reveal

New routes to success in learning are popping up around the country

A sampling of Hechinger reporting for The New York Times’s Learning section

Some colleges seek radical solutions to survive

Many schools are trying strategies from the business world to stay afloat

Questioning their fairness, a record number of colleges stop requiring the SAT and ACT

Results are mixed, but suggest that making these tests optional is improving diversity on campus

Harvard critic finds white jocks and rich kids get preferential treatment in admissions

Economist estimates that three-fourths of white students who are athletes, legacies, big donors or faculty children would have been rejected

certificate programs

Will colleges with sky-high default rates face consequences?

New federal data reveals schools where more than half of students default on their loans. Will the government take action?

The students disappearing fastest from American campuses? Middle-class ones

Anxious about diversity and their bottom lines, more schools offer money to the middle

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Sci Academy

Nearly all the seniors at this charter school went to college. Only 6 out of 52 finished on time

In 2012, almost all of Sci Academy’s seniors were accepted at college; seven years later, 65 percent had dropped out

Hispanic-serving institutions set to lose $100 million

Congressional leaders disagree about how to continue funding for colleges that serve minority students

Spotlight swings to for-profit middlemen that may be driving up the cost of online higher education

In hiring companies known as online program managers, universities give up what is often a large share of revenues

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