Closing the digital divide in Black America — from mckinsey.com
Five steps could help to bring broadband and digital equity to every Black household in the United States—urban and rural—while bolstering efforts to create a more inclusive economy.

Excerpt:

But broadband access is only part of a much bigger picture. Ensuring all Americans can fully participate in civic life and the digital economy requires afford­able subscriptions, internet-enabled devices, applications, digital skills, and high-quality technical support. For example, while smartphone and tablet penetration are approximately equal among White, Black, and Hispanic and Latino adults in the United States, only 69 percent of Black Americans and 67 percent of Hispanic Americans have desktop or laptop computers, compared with 80 percent of White Americans (Exhibit 1).5 A 2020 OECD survey found that roughly half of Black workers had the advanced or proficient digital skills needed to thrive in our increasingly tech-driven economy, compared with 77 percent of White workers.6

 

Local private colleges slash tuition prices as enrollment declines — from news.yahoo.com by Jason Law

Excerpts:

“By reducing the published price, we certainly would hope that more people would apply,” Alexander said. “If they see a sticker price of $60,000 or more, there’s research out there that says 60% of them don’t take the next step to apply or figure out if they can afford it.”

One of the most frustrating aspects for consumers, the Hechinger Report found, is the difference between a school’s sticker price—its published tuition cost–and the actual price a student will pay after scholarships and institutional aid are subtracted.

“Many families are not aware that some students do not pay the full sticker price for college. Only 18% of college-bound families agree that the amount families actually pay is lower than the price advertised by the school,” a 2022 Sallie Mae College Confidence report found.

Student Loan Debt: 2022 Statistics and Outlook — from investopedia.com by Daniel Kurt, Thomas Brock, and Amanda Jackson; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for posting this on LinkedIn
The numbers are staggering—and still on the rise

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The total amount of outstanding student loan debt in the United States is $1.77 trillion.
  • Soaring college costs and pressure to compete in the job marketplace are big factors for student loan debt.
  • Student loans are the most common form of educational debt, followed by credit cards and other types of credit.
  • Delinquency statistics may be understated because of the relief provided to student loan borrowers by the White House.
  • Borrowers who don’t complete their degrees are more likely to default.

Congress to Boost Pell Grant by $500 — from insidehighered.com by Katherine Knott
While the draft spending plan for fiscal year 2023 provides more funding for several programs, higher education groups and advocates had hoped for higher increases.

 

CEO Roundtable With Ari Kaplan: Legal services and legal tech CEOs reflect on 2022 and offer perspectives for 2023 — from abajournal.com by Ari Kaplan

CEO Roundtable With Ari Kaplan: Legal services and legal tech CEOs reflect on 2022 and offer perspectives for 2023

Also see:

Legal Services Corporation Awards $4.6 Million in Technology Grants to 29 Legal Aid Organizations — from lsc.gov

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON—The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that it is awarding 33 Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) to 29 legal services providers totaling $4,679,135. These organizations will use the funds to leverage technology in delivering high-quality legal assistance to low-income Americans.

Grant recipients have used this funding to enhance cybersecurity, build educational platforms, strengthen program capacity and support the work of pro bono attorneys. Successful TIG projects are often replicated by organizations around the country, creating wide-reaching impacts.

A Debate on Nonlawyer Participation Part II: Ralph Baxter Explores the State Bar Obligation to Improve Access to Justice — from legaltechmonitor.com by Natalie Anne Knowlton

Excerpt:

Stephen Younger argues against nonlawyer ownership on the grounds that it would threaten the independence of the legal profession and would not solve the access to justice crisis. In contrast, Ralph Baxter offers a pro-reform perspective, arguing that reforms are necessary to meaningfully address the access to justice crisis—and that state bar association inaction on these issues constitutes a dereliction of duty.

In part one of this two-part IAALS blog series, we explored Younger’s argument in “The Pitfalls and False Promises of Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms.” This piece details Baxter’s opposing perspective as set out in “Dereliction of Duty: State-Bar Inaction in Response to America’s Access-to-Justice Crisis.”

Top 4 legal technology news stories of 2022 — from abajournal.com by Nicole Black

In the meantime, looking back on the top legal technology news stories is a great way to identify key trends that hint at what’s to come for lawyers and their clients in 2023 and beyond.

The Top 10 Law & Tech Stories of 2022 Countdown – 1. The Next Era of Litigation — from jdsupra.com

Attorneys and their client are looking for a more secure, more familiar, more intuitive, more efficient virtual environment than the mass-market videoconference platforms that were hastily deployed during the pandemic. 

ABA Lawyers Broadly Support Remote Depositions — from lexology.com

Excerpt:

Eighty-eight percent of lawyers responding to a recent American Bar Association survey said they prefer the use of remote depositions in their practices. Another 93% supported the use of remote technologies for all pretrial hearings.

The survey results are further evidence of the rapid and profound transition toward wider use of remote technologies in the legal profession.
.


.

 

The incredible shrinking future of college — from vox.com by Kevin Carey

Excerpt:

The future looks very different in some parts of the country than in others, and will also vary among national four-year universities, regional universities like Ship, and community colleges. Grawe projects that, despite the overall demographic decline, demand for national four-year universities on the West Coast will increase by more than 7.5 percent between now and the mid-2030s. But in states like New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana, it will decline by 15 percent or more.

Higher ed’s eight-decade run of unbroken good fortune may be about to end.

Demand for regional four-year universities, per Grawe, will drop by at least 7.5 percent across New England, the mid-Atlantic, and Southern states other than Florida and Texas, with smaller declines in the Great Plains. Community colleges will be hit hard in most places other than Florida, which has a robust two-year system with a large Latino population.

The next generation of higher education leaders will take scarcity as a given and “return on investment” as both sales pitch and state of mind.

The decline of American higher education — from youtube.com by Bryan Alexander and Kevin Carey

 

Most Colleges Omit or Understate Net Costs in Financial-Aid Offers, Federal Watchdog Finds — from chronicle.com by Eric Hoover

Excerpt:

Nine out of 10 colleges either exclude or understate the net cost of attendance in their financial-aid offers to students, according to estimates published in a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The watchdog agency recommended that Congress consider legislation that would require institutions to provide “clear and standard information.”

The lack of clarity makes it hard for students to decide where to enroll and how much to borrow.

The report, published on Monday, paints a troubling picture of an industry that makes it difficult for consumers to understand the bottom line by presenting insufficient if not downright misleading information. Federal law does not require colleges to present financial-aid offers in a clear, consistent way to all students.

Higher ed faces ‘deteriorating’ outlook in 2023, Fitch says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Dive Brief (excerpt):

  • U.S. higher education faces a stable but deteriorating credit outlook in 2023, Fitch Ratings said Thursday, taking a more pessimistic view of the sector’s future than it had at the same time last year.
  • Operating performance at colleges and universities will be pressured by enrollment, labor and wage challenges, according to the bond ratings agency. Colleges have been able to raise tuition slightly because of inflation, but additional revenue they generate generally isn’t expected to be enough to offset rising costs.

Merger Watch: Don’t wait too long to find a merger partner. Closure does not benefit anybody. — from highereddive.com by Ricardo Azziz
Leaders fail students, employees and communities when they embrace a strategy of hope in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Excerpt:

While not all institutions can (or should be) saved, most institutional closures reflect the failure of past governing boards to face the fiscal reality of their institution — and to plan accordingly and in a timely manner. Leaders should always consider and, if necessary, pursue potential partnerships, mergers, or consolidations before a school has exhausted its financial and political capital. The inability or unwillingness of many leaders to take such action is reflected in the fact that the number of institutional closures in higher education far outweighs the number of successful mergers.

In fact, the risk of closure can be predicted. In a prior analysis several coauthors and I reported on a number of risk factors predictive of closure, noting that most schools at risk for closure are small and financially fragile, with declining enrollment and limited resources to mount significant online programs. While there are many clear signs that a school is at risk for closure, the major challenge to mounting a response seems to be the unwillingness of institutional leaders to understand, face and act on these signs.

What can colleges learn from degrees awarded in the fast-shrinking journalism field? — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Bachelor’s degrees offer solid payoffs, while grad programs post mixed returns, researchers find. But many students don’t go on to work in the field.

Excerpt:

Journalism jobs are hard to find. But it’s nice work when you can get it.

That’s the takeaway from a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on the payoff of journalism programs. An analysis of federal education and labor data reveals that journalism and communication bachelor’s degrees offer moderate payoff to their graduates, but only 15% of majors end up working in the field early in their careers. Newsroom employment has declined 26% since 2008, and researchers predict it will fall 3% over the next nine years.


Addendum on 12/10/22:

A Sectorwide Approach to Higher Ed’s Future — from insidehighered.com by Sylvia M. Burwell
Institutions must seek ways to differentiate themselves even as they work together to address common challenges facing all of higher education, writes Sylvia M. Burwell.

We have to think differently about the future of higher education. And rather than limit our work to what one type of institution or program can achieve, we should look across the entire higher education sector.

A sectorwide [insert DSC: system-wide] approach is needed because the economics of higher education are not going to hold.

To evolve our thinking on these questions, we should focus on the value proposition of higher education and market differentiation.

 

Buyer Beware: First-Year Earnings and Debt for 37,000 College Majors at 4,400 Institutions — from cew.georgetown.edu

Summary:

Did you know that in the first year after graduation you can make more money with an associate’s degree in nursing from Santa Rosa Junior College in California than with a graduate degree from some programs at Harvard University? Data from the College Scorecard reveal many more surprising details of post-college outcomes for students and families about that all-important first year after graduation. Buyer Beware: First-Year Earnings and Debt for 37,000 College Majors at 4,400 Institutions finds that first-year earnings for the same degree in the same major can vary by $80,000 at different colleges and universities. It also reveals that workers with less education can often make more than workers with more education, and that higher levels of education do not always result in higher student loan payments.

Speaking of Georgetown, also see:

In the U.S. alone, more than 39 million students leave college without a degree. Black, Latino, and Native American students are overrepresented in this population.

SCS’s program is designed to help students of all backgrounds complete their degrees and unlock their earning potential. The degree’s most recent on-campus cohort is composed of 62% students of color and 40% military-connected learners. SCS is introducing this fully online degree to scale this program to learners worldwide.

 

Californians approve big funding boost for arts education — from apnews.com by Julie Watson; with thanks to Goldie Blumenstyk for this resource

Excerpt:

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure backed by a celebrity lineup that included Barbra Streisand and Los Angeles-born rappers will.i.am and Dr. Dre that could pump as much as $1 billion a year from the state’s general fund into arts education.

Supporters said it would benefit public school programs that go beyond the traditional art, theater, dance and music classes to include graphic design, computer coding, animation, music composition and script writing.

Also from Goldie Blumenstyk:

 

What to Know About the New Rules on Pell Grants for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan

Excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday released final regulations that spell out how colleges can lay the groundwork for enrolling some of the more than 700,000 incarcerated people who are expected to become eligible next summer to apply for Pell Grants to pay for college.

The new prison-education initiative, which will take effect in July, will eventually replace the Second-Chance Pell Program, a pilot that began in 2015 under the Obama administration. Since then, it has grown to allow around 200 colleges to offer prison-education programs that are supported by Pell Grants, currently worth up to around $7,000 per year.

 

More Than 3 in 4 Americans Believe College Is Difficult to Afford — from morningconsult.com by Amanda Jacobson Snyder
And about half of U.S. adults say in-state public universities are “not affordable,” as shifting trends in enrollment may make flagship state schools seem financially out of reach

Excerpt:

  • A college education is widely perceived as unaffordable for most Americans, with 77% of U.S. adults saying a college degree would be difficult for someone like them to afford.
  • 82% of women said a college degree would be difficult to afford, compared with 73% of men.
  • Roughly 4 in 5 Black and Hispanic adults said college would be difficult to afford.
 

Stanford Law School tries out income-share financing — from highereddive.com by eremy Bauer-Wolf

Excerpt:

  • Stanford Law School will allow some students to fund their law degrees with an income-share agreement, in which they will pay back tuition costs through a portion of their salaries over 12 years.
  • The law school is working with a nonprofit, Flywheel Fund for Career Choice, on the pilot program, which will initially be open to 20 students. The law school attendees will be able to have up to $170,000 of their tuition covered upfront in exchange for paying back 10% of their salaries.
 

A Best-Selling Textbook Is Now Free — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
A popular chemistry book’s jump from a publishing titan to an OER pioneer could be pivotal for the open access movement. For the author, it’s also a fitting tribute to his late son.

Excerpt:

John McMurry’s textbook Organic Chemistry has helped millions of students across the globe pass the infamous gauntlet of its namesake class — also known among stressed-out pre-med students as “orgo” — since the book was first printed in 1984.

For his bestseller’s 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher, the industry giant Cengage, which has published the book since the beginning. He recently sold the rights to OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that is dedicated to developing open education resources (OER), learning and research materials created and licensed to be free for the user.

From DSC:
From someone paying for a young adult to get through college, I hope this kind of thing happens more often! 🙂 But seriously, there are too many instances when students have been treated as cash cows, when we should have been bending over backward to help them get their educations.

For example, if I pay an invoice from our son’s university by credit card, I get a 3% charge — of the total invoice/$$ amount!!! — added to the bill. Are you kidding me? I have to pay several hundred dollars just for an electronic transaction?!

Can you imagine if the same thing happened to the rest of us at restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, etc. out there? Consumers would throw a fit! And I’d be right there with them.


Also related, see:

Millennials have money problems — from linkedin.com by Taylor Borden

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The average millennial is $117,000 in debt, but don’t blame avocado toast. According to new research, more than 70% of millennials have some form of non-mortgage debt, typically linked to student loans and credit cards.

Too Broke to Finish a Ph.D. Program? Tell Us About It — from the chronicle.com by Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez

Excerpt:

Doctoral programs can be long, trying, and expensive — even cost-prohibitive, depending on your circumstances.


 

The workforce is changing. Can community colleges change with it? — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Bylilah Burke; with thanks to Dr. Paul Czarapata for this resource
Advocates and researchers in education are asking if two-year institutions might transform to reach a fuller potential—serving as community hubs for social and economic mobility.

Excerpt:

Increasingly, they’re also the place students like Plunkett turn to when they find themselves at a dead end in their career and need to retool. And advocates and researchers in education are asking if these institutions might transform to reach a fuller potential—serving as community hubs for social and economic mobility.

That’s certainly the future envisioned by groups like Achieving the Dream, a leader in the student success movement. Karen Stout, president and CEO of the organization, has said that means colleges must take a more active role in bringing career-aligned education and reskilling opportunities—whether their own programs or those developed by industry—to the community.

“In the past, community colleges were lifelong-learning institutions,” Stout told Work Shift earlier this year. “Now we must become lifelong career-matching institutions—a source of upskilling, a rational pathway to career development that weaves together opportunities for students to move in and out of work and school that is designed to progressively lead to a career in a particular field.”

It’s a tall order, as the American workforce from Alabama to Wyoming is set to change drastically over the next few decades. Can community colleges rise to the occasion? Some already are. 

Also from workshift.opencampusmedia.org, see:

 

4 Institutional Effectiveness Indicators to Watch — from campustechnology.com by Jack Neill
Is your college or university on track to achieve its strategic goals? Taking the pulse of these four areas can identify problems that need attention or successes moving the institution forward.

Future-proofing higher ed means knowing what’s coming and not waiting to enact a plan. In terms of what’s coming, we know advancements in technology, changing accreditation requirements, student demand, and employer-led education and job training (to name a few examples) are quickly changing the nature of how we learn and how we work. When it comes to future planning, embracing the new era of Institutional Effectiveness is the way forward.

Excerpt:

Like many things in life, Institutional Effectiveness is easier to define than it is to implement. But now we can’t deny the urgency for institutions to get these next steps right when it comes to executing their short-term and long-term strategic plans. Institutional change can take a long time, and while a holistic approach is encouraged, it’s usually not feasible (or recommended) to try to tackle everything all at once. Therefore, it’s important to recognize which areas require immediate attention in order to successfully steer the college or university in the right direction.

Here are four key indicators to watch, and how to determine if your institution is on the right track:

 

For Native Americans, Unequal Child Care Funding Leaves Tribes in Need — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Excerpt:

Native communities are in desperate need of quality child care. And yet, they are the least likely demographic to get it.

Tribal leaders have long known that access to child care is essential to making sure their members can work. That was true four decades ago, when researcher Linda Smith—now director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative—was starting her career in early childhood education by establishing a child care center on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana.

Over the years, she says little has changed in the way of getting tribes more support to meet the child care needs of their members.

 

Higher Ed Is Looking to Refill Jobs. But It’s Finding a ‘Shallow and Weak’ Candidate Pool. — from chronicle.com by Megan Zahneis

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

While higher education has largely recovered nearly all of its pandemic-associated job losses, the task of recruiting and hiring administrators and staff members has become a daunting one, according to a Chronicle survey of college leaders, hiring managers, and administrators that was conducted with support from the Huron Consulting Group.

Nearly 80 percent of the 720 respondents said their campus has more open positions this year than last, and 84 percent said that hiring for administrative and staff jobs has been more difficult in the last year.

Those positions are harder than ever to fill, too: 78 percent of leaders said their campus had received fewer applications for open jobs in the last year, and 82 percent agreed that they’d fielded fewer applications from qualified candidates. Said one person who took the survey: “The pools have been shallow and weak.”

From DSC:
Ask any ***staff*** member who has been working within higher education these last 10-20 years if this development is surprising to them, and they would tell you, “No, this is not a surprise to me at all.” Working within higher education has lost much of its value and appeal:

  • Budgets have been shrinking for years — so important/engaging new projects get taken off the plate (or indefinitely postponed). So opportunities for personal growth and new knowledge for staff members have been majorly curtailed. Also, members of administrations may decide to outsource those exciting projects that do survive to external consultants.
  • Oftentimes, salaries don’t match inflation — and they were never stellar to begin with.
  • Staff are second-class citizens within the world of higher education
    • They aren’t part of the governing bodies (i.e., the Faculty Senates out there don’t include staff). Faculty members have much more say, control, and governance over things and get the opportunities to travel, learn, present, grow, share their knowledge, etc. much more so than staff members.
    • There are few — if any — sabbaticals for staff members.
    • Even those working within teaching and learning centers and instructional designers don’t have their hands on many steering wheels out there. Many faculty members prefer to hold their own steering wheels and they won’t listen to others who aren’t people they consider their “peers” (i.e., essentially other faculty members).
    • They often don’t get the chance to do research and to make money off that research, like faculty members do
  • Staffing levels are inadequate, so one takes on an ever-increasing amount of work for the same pay.

And others could add more items to this list. So no, this is not a surprise to me at all. In a potential future where team-based content creation may thrive, it appears that some team members are dropping out.

 

Public colleges’ operating revenue rose 3.1% in 2021 despite lower net tuition — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Excerpt:

“This strong performance is unlikely to continue as universities continue to grapple with student affordability issues and enrollment losses, along with inflation affecting labor and other operating costs,” the report said.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian