Letters & Op-Eds

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Valuing A Liberal Arts Education In A Jobs-Focused World

Valuing A Liberal Arts Education In A Jobs-Focused World

August 22, 2011

Trinity College Professor Stefanie Chambers reminded me that in a world overloaded with media and information, students need critical thinking and writing skills more than ever. The problem is that things really have changed dramatically since the high water mark for liberal arts education in the 1960s. We live in a time when college graduates depart campus with an average of $24,000 in loans and the unemployment rate for people in their early 20s is more than 14 percent. Is it fair to pretend that a true liberal arts education should not have anything to do with paying the bills later in life?
Trinity College Professor Stefanie Chambers reminded me that in a world overloaded with media and information, students need critical thinking and writing skills more than ever. The problem is that things really have changed dramatically since the high water mark for liberal arts education in the 1960s. We live in a time when college graduates depart campus with an average of $24,000 in loans and the unemployment rate for people in their early 20s is more than 14 percent. Is it fair to pretend that a true liberal arts education should not have anything to do with paying the bills later in life?

August 22, 2011

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Trust's Assumptions Are Unreasonable at Best

Trust's Assumptions Are Unreasonable at Best

June 26, 2011

Education Trust's unreasonable, if not outlandish, research assumptions and untested data lead to research findings that generate sensational headlines and have the potential to detract from serious policy discussions. It strains credibility for Education Trust to report that less than one-half percent of U.S. four-year colleges and universities effectively serve low-income students.
Education Trust's unreasonable, if not outlandish, research assumptions and untested data lead to research findings that generate sensational headlines and have the potential to detract from serious policy discussions. It strains credibility for Education Trust to report that less than one-half percent of U.S. four-year colleges and universities effectively serve low-income students.

June 26, 2011

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NAICU Letter to the Christian Science Monitor

NAICU Letter to the Christian Science Monitor

October 08, 2010

Letters to the Editor
Christian Science Monitor

October 8, 2010

To the Editor:

There's a touch of irony here: In response to what you view as "biased bashing of career schools" by the Obama administration (The Monitor's View, October 7), you respond with your own biased bashing of traditional colleges. That's hardly an example of the kind of accountability for all of American higher education which you claim to seek.

Without adding an additional layer of hyperbole to this volatile issue, I do want to correct some of the basic misperceptions about non-profit colleges perpetuated in your recent editorial.

  • 40,000 of the 53,000 programs that the administration seeks to regulate under the proposed Gainful Employment regulations are at public and non-profit institutions. It is false for you to claim that these programs are only at, or even predominately at, for-profit colleges.
  • Non-profit colleges - like all sectors - serve the poor, the less-academically prepared, and adult learners. It has been a long-established fact that non-profit colleges have the greatest success rate with these students. In fact, we have recently posted a publicly available list of more than 500 of the programs contributing to this success (www.buildingblocks2020.org). Our hope is that by sharing this with institutions across all of higher education - including for-profit schools - we can all do more to help our nation reach the 2020 goal of being first in the world in college completion.
  • Many of our colleges are engaged in such initiatives as online learning, three-year degree programs, summer programs, and satellite campuses, in order to more effectively serve the diverse needs of an increasingly diverse college-going population.

All of us should make sure that the students who are counting on America's higher education system aren't failed by it, and that in supporting that system, taxpayers' dollars are not wasted. Those should be the key points on which any federal oversight of higher education should be based.

As you seek to defend one sector of higher education, it is not necessary to do so by attacking other sectors with myths and innuendos. Your readers depend on information resources like the Christian Science Monitor to sort fact from myth.

David L. Warren
President
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

Letters to the Editor
Christian Science Monitor

October 8, 2010

To the Editor:

There's a touch of irony here: In response to what you view as "biased bashing of career schools" by the Obama administration (The Monitor's View, October 7), you respond with your own biased bashing of traditional colleges. That's hardly an example of the kind of accountability for all of American higher education which you claim to seek.

Without adding an additional layer of hyperbole to this volatile issue, I do want to correct some of the basic misperceptions about non-profit colleges perpetuated in your recent editorial.

  • 40,000 of the 53,000 programs that the administration seeks to regulate under the proposed Gainful Employment regulations are at public and non-profit institutions. It is false for you to claim that these programs are only at, or even predominately at, for-profit colleges.
  • Non-profit colleges - like all sectors - serve the poor, the less-academically prepared, and adult learners. It has been a long-established fact that non-profit colleges have the greatest success rate with these students. In fact, we have recently posted a publicly available list of more than 500 of the programs contributing to this success (www.buildingblocks2020.org). Our hope is that by sharing this with institutions across all of higher education - including for-profit schools - we can all do more to help our nation reach the 2020 goal of being first in the world in college completion.
  • Many of our colleges are engaged in such initiatives as online learning, three-year degree programs, summer programs, and satellite campuses, in order to more effectively serve the diverse needs of an increasingly diverse college-going population.

All of us should make sure that the students who are counting on America's higher education system aren't failed by it, and that in supporting that system, taxpayers' dollars are not wasted. Those should be the key points on which any federal oversight of higher education should be based.

As you seek to defend one sector of higher education, it is not necessary to do so by attacking other sectors with myths and innuendos. Your readers depend on information resources like the Christian Science Monitor to sort fact from myth.

David L. Warren
President
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

October 08, 2010

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5 Marketing Questions

5 Marketing Questions

July 23, 2010

In these tight budget times, colleges and universities are intensely focused on protecting and growing their revenue sources. This is drawing increased attention to the marketing function. Marketers with a successful track record inside higher education or from the corporate world are being considered for "chief marketing officer" positions.
In these tight budget times, colleges and universities are intensely focused on protecting and growing their revenue sources. This is drawing increased attention to the marketing function. Marketers with a successful track record inside higher education or from the corporate world are being considered for "chief marketing officer" positions.

July 23, 2010

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NAICU Letter to the Wall Street Journal

NAICU Letter to the Wall Street Journal

April 04, 2009

Letters to the Editor
Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Students and families considering private colleges should not be scared off by Mr. Kahn's pessimistic and largely anecdotal assessment of private higher education's affordability and value ("The Fat Envelope, Please," opinion, April 3). For many students, the silver lining in the recession will be larger student aid budgets and smaller tuition increases in 2009-10.

Surveys of the 954 nonprofit, private institutions that make up the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities show that 92 percent are increasing their institutional aid budgets, by an average of 9.2 percent. Likewise, survey data show an average 4.2 percent increase in tuition and fees at independent institutions for 2009-10-the lowest annual increase in at least 37 years, and on par with the 2008 Consumer Price Index rate of 3.8 percent. Already, nine out of 10 students at private colleges pay less than list price, receiving an average institutional grant of $11,000.

The 24-percent drop in college endowments in the past six months, combined with drastically slowing fund raising, makes meeting enrollment goals-and generating the tuition revenue that follows-an absolute necessity to our institutions. The demands of the marketplace, combined with private higher education's commitment to access for students from all backgrounds, are driving private colleges to cut administrative and compensation costs, and use the savings to boost grants and scholarships for students, temper tuition increases, and protect academic quality.

A wave of innovative campus affordability measures-policies that replace loans with institutionally provided grants for low- and middle-income families, tuition freezes and cuts, matching the price of local public universities, and three-year bachelor's programs, among others-have been launched or expanded for 2009-10 by private institutions nationwide. (To see a list of examples, go to www.naicu.edu/affordability.)

The generous student aid policies at private colleges, as well as the personal attention they give students, accounts for their high four-year graduation rates. Seventy-nine percent of graduates at private colleges receive their bachelor's degrees within four, compared to 49 percent at state universities. These students avoid paying tuition for the additional two years that are necessary at a public university, and start earning a full-time salary sooner.

The global economic upheaval underscores the importance of a higher education that prepares workers for an entire career-not just their next job. A liberal arts education that provides a rich base of knowledge, and the analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills lays the foundation for a thriving career. Thanks to generous grant and scholarship programs, and high four-year graduation rates, such an education at a private college or university is still affordable and remains a great value.

Sincerely,

David L. Warren
President
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

 

 

Letters to the Editor
Wall Street Journal

To the Editor:

Students and families considering private colleges should not be scared off by Mr. Kahn's pessimistic and largely anecdotal assessment of private higher education's affordability and value ("The Fat Envelope, Please," opinion, April 3). For many students, the silver lining in the recession will be larger student aid budgets and smaller tuition increases in 2009-10.

Surveys of the 954 nonprofit, private institutions that make up the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities show that 92 percent are increasing their institutional aid budgets, by an average of 9.2 percent. Likewise, survey data show an average 4.2 percent increase in tuition and fees at independent institutions for 2009-10-the lowest annual increase in at least 37 years, and on par with the 2008 Consumer Price Index rate of 3.8 percent. Already, nine out of 10 students at private colleges pay less than list price, receiving an average institutional grant of $11,000.

The 24-percent drop in college endowments in the past six months, combined with drastically slowing fund raising, makes meeting enrollment goals-and generating the tuition revenue that follows-an absolute necessity to our institutions. The demands of the marketplace, combined with private higher education's commitment to access for students from all backgrounds, are driving private colleges to cut administrative and compensation costs, and use the savings to boost grants and scholarships for students, temper tuition increases, and protect academic quality.

A wave of innovative campus affordability measures-policies that replace loans with institutionally provided grants for low- and middle-income families, tuition freezes and cuts, matching the price of local public universities, and three-year bachelor's programs, among others-have been launched or expanded for 2009-10 by private institutions nationwide. (To see a list of examples, go to www.naicu.edu/affordability.)

The generous student aid policies at private colleges, as well as the personal attention they give students, accounts for their high four-year graduation rates. Seventy-nine percent of graduates at private colleges receive their bachelor's degrees within four, compared to 49 percent at state universities. These students avoid paying tuition for the additional two years that are necessary at a public university, and start earning a full-time salary sooner.

The global economic upheaval underscores the importance of a higher education that prepares workers for an entire career-not just their next job. A liberal arts education that provides a rich base of knowledge, and the analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills lays the foundation for a thriving career. Thanks to generous grant and scholarship programs, and high four-year graduation rates, such an education at a private college or university is still affordable and remains a great value.

Sincerely,

David L. Warren
President
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C.

 

 

April 04, 2009

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About the items posted on the NAICU site: News items, features, and opinion pieces posted on this site from sources outside NAICU do not necessarily reflect the position of the association or its members. Rather, this content reflects the diversity of issues and views that are shaping American higher education.

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