Investigations

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

Inside Maine’s disastrous rollout of proficiency-based learning

How well-intentioned education and business leaders, backed by wealthy foundations and a success story from faraway Alaska, sold state lawmakers on a largely untested theory of change

Ebony McGee, a Vanderbilt University associate professor who studies diversity in education, in her office at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. McGee says black faculty at predominantly white institutions are either ignored or closely scrutinized. “They don’t want to stay in that toxic environment, so they leave.”

After colleges promised to increase it, hiring of black faculty declined

Data show the proportion of nonwhite faculty is far smaller than of nonwhite students

Alana Wolf was accepted to Cornell University, which told her to go somewhere else as a freshman and come back as a sophomore under a little-known policy called conditional admission. She spent her freshman year at Ithaca College and will enter Cornell this fall.

Seeking advantage, colleges are increasingly admitting students as sophomores

Some applicants are told: Start here after going somewhere else for freshman year

quality of college

Critics warn that well-meaning reforms may be lowering the quality of college

Signs emerge that some are cutting corners to produce more graduates more quickly

North Carolina's attorney general shut down the Charlotte School of Law before it was scheduled to open this past fall.

As feds pull back, states step in to regulate for-profit colleges and universities

Securities filings show an industry increasingly vexed about state oversight, enforcement

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The line between Texas and Arkansas in front of the bi-state federal building, which straddles both. Texas A&M University at Texarkana has one of the lowest retention rates of public higher-education institutions; 55 percent who started in 2012 were gone by 2016.

More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit

New data show little progress in retaining students, despite efforts to plug the leak

Katherine Kerwin, legislative affairs chair of the University of Wisconsin student government, leads efforts against letting public university students in Wisconsin opt out of paying fees to clubs and causes with which they disagree. “We can’t eliminate things because we’re so close-minded that we don’t want to pay for an organization that we don’t believe in,” she says.

Should college students’ money be paying for controversial speakers and programs?

Debate comes as universities shift more and more costs to students, including the bill for hot button speakers and polarizing clubs

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