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.

STEM fields

Don’t say there’s a lack of STEM talent in the South

Birmingham is brimming with talented black students in STEM fields — why aren’t there more black-owned businesses?

OPINION: Ending the stigma for college students with learning disabilities

How the recent college admissions scandal hurt

prison education programs

Propelling prisoners to bachelor’s degrees in California

As the First Step Act is set to release more federal prisoners and Congress considers offering additional inmates financial aid for college, California’s overhaul of prison education offers a blueprint for other states.

certificate programs

‘They just saw me as a dollar sign’: How some certificate schools profit from vulnerable students

When government turns a blind eye, for-profit colleges fail to fulfill promise of a fast path to a new career and leave students in debt

Students at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The school has made steady progress in increasing diversity on campus. Enrollment of underrepresented minorities has climbed from 12 percent in 2002 to roughly 27 percent this year.

Texas 10% policy didn’t expand number of high schools feeding students to top universities

Affirmative action workaround isn't working, researchers find

From prison to dean’s list: How Danielle Metz got an education after incarceration

Just 4 percent of formerly incarcerated people have a bachelor’s degree. Now, a movement to raise that number is gaining momentum as Congress reconsiders a ban on Pell grants for prisoners, and some states seek to prevent universities from barring felons

What does ‘career readiness’ look like in middle school?

School districts are pushing career exploration into middle and lower grades, convinced the preparation necessary for tomorrow’s jobs needs to begin earlier

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Students from City As School high school in New York City think like engineers as they construct a water filtration system.

How to program greater diversity among Mississippi’s computer science grads

Female and black students have been locked out of computer science fields, but a program seeks to change that by starting early

Achievement gap closed, one chancellor asks, “Why aren’t we all doing this?”

With a strong support system and a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota Rochester has students from different backgrounds graduating at similar rates

Erin Nelson, a recruiter from Iowa State University, talks with Emily Behrendsen, 17, and her mother, Diana, at a college fair in Pasadena, California. Emily’s older brother is going to Alaska for college, Diana Behrendsen says. “I just feel like they need to go where they can thrive and be happy.”

As college enrollment falls, recruiters descend on a state that still has lots of applicants

Institutions that are running out of students look to a place that has more than it can handle

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