Trends in College Pricing for 2012


Also see:


My thanks to Academic Impressions for the resources/updates

Why these kids get a free ride to college --= from The New York Times by Ted Fishman



Back in November 2005, when this year’s graduates were in sixth grade, the superintendent of Kalamazoo’s public schools, Janice M. Brown, shocked the community by announcing that unnamed donors were pledging to pay the tuition at Michigan’s public colleges, universities and community colleges for every student who graduated from the district’s high schools. All of a sudden, students who had little hope of higher education saw college in their future. Called the Kalamazoo Promise, the program — blind to family income levels, to pupils’ grades and even to disciplinary and criminal records — would be the most inclusive, most generous scholarship program in America.


Also see:

The Kalamazoo Promise- free college



From DSC:

  • I would like to thank the anonymous donors who created and continue to sustain the Kalamazoo Promise; and to recognize their humility and service to society. They didn’t announce their gifts with trumpets; rather, they quietly gave without wanting to put their names to these enormous, life-changing gifts.  What a great example for many of the nation’s top 1%-5% to follow!  It’s amazing what generous hearts can do.  The LORD knows who did it and continues to do it.


Some student loans to become more expensive despite deal — from The Washington Post by Ylan Q. Mui


Even as Congress moves to prevent undergraduate student loan rates from doubling, lawmakers have decided to eliminate two federal subsidies that will increase the cost of higher education.

One would hit the same college students who are benefiting from the interest rate freeze. Though their rates will be only 3.4 percent, they will be responsible for paying that interest as soon as they throw their graduation caps in the air — a change that is expected to cost them more than $2 billion.

Meanwhile, students hoping to earn the advanced degrees that have become mandatory for many white-collar jobs will no longer be eligible for federally subsidized loans. That means graduate students are facing an $18 billion increase in interest rate payments over the next decade, about three times the amount at stake in the debate over undergrad interest rates.

Both measures will take effect Sunday.

7 things colleges worry about – from by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Excerpts from “What’s worrying college administrators?”

  1. After peaking in 2008, the number of high school students has been declining slowly.
  2. While high school grads in the West and South have remained mostly stable, the number of teenagers has declined significantly in the East and Midwest.
  3. Between 2000 and 2010, the real median income for families dropped nearly 11 percent.
  4. High unemployment remains persistent.
  5. Many families owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
  6. With flat and falling income and high unemployment, many American families are poorer now than they were five years ago.
  7. Looking further into the future, the financial reality for younger families (ages 25 to 34), who will eventually be sending their children to college, is grim.

Also see the below items from

From DSC:
Just looking at the title one of the above items — “When Market Conditions and Public Perception Collide: A Looming Crisis for Higher Education” (by Amy Foster) — those of us working within higher education don’t want to be in the “Have you driven a Ford lately?” mode. That is, once we lose the public’s confidence and trust in our products and/or services, it will be very hard to get those things back. Not impossible, but difficult.

Two additional thoughts here:

  • Reputation, like china, is easily cracked and hard to mend.
  • There is tremendous and lasting power in the ideas and perceptions that reside within people’s thoughts. Once an idea catches hold, it’s hard to stop.



Official calls for urgency on college costs— from the New York Times by Tamar Lewin


As Occupy movement protests helped push spiraling college costs into the national spotlight, Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged higher-education officials Tuesday to “think more creatively — and with much greater urgency” about ways to contain costs and reduce student debt.

“Three in four Americans now say that college is too expensive for most people to afford,” Mr. Duncan said. “That belief is even stronger among young adults — three-fourths of whom believe that graduates today have more debt than they can manage.”

Also see:

Addendum later on 11/30/11:


(Official Department of Education Photo by Joshua Hoover)

“My chief message today is a sobering one,” said Secretary Duncan yesterday at the annual Federal Student Aid conference in Las Vegas, Nev. “I want to ask you, and the entire higher education community, to look ahead and start thinking more creatively—and with much greater urgency—about how to contain the spiraling costs of college and reduce the burden of student debt on our nation’s students.”

5 Michigan colleges to benefit from $6.8 million grant from philanthropic foundation -- from by Monica Scott


“We have discovered that structured programs that encourage and guide students in the theological exploration of vocation do indeed help them draw on the wisdom of their religious traditions as they make decisions about their futures and figure out how to lead lives that really matter,” said Craig Dykstra, the Lilly Endowment’s senior vice president for religion.

Check out some of these announcements from The Future of State Universities 2011 Conference


From DSC:
Following are some of the announcements from last week’s the Future of State Universities Conference (oddly enough, I couldn’t find any blogs, recordings, etc. here…)


October 7, 2011

10:05 AM – 87% of the respondents to the pre-conference survey believe that public universities will undergo major structural changes in the future.


9:15 AM –Two thirds of students graduating with 4-year degrees last year, owed on average $23,186 in student loans. CNN Money

Student loan debt has eclipsed credit card debt at $1.0 trillion and counting.


In 2010 Open Universities Australia grew 35%–the largest increase on record. The Australian

October 6, 2011

3:45 PM – 57% of people surveyed by Pew and the Chronicle say that the cost of college outweighs its value. Boston Magazine

Unemployment rate for people under 25 is 54% and 9 out of 10 college grads are planning to move back in with their parents. Boston Magazine


2:45 PM – Only 11% of respondents to the pre-conference survey believe that student readiness for college is stable or increasing.


2:00 PM – 100% of presidents and 75% of provosts and deans that responded to the pre-conference survey believe that faculty interactions with students will change significantly in the coming years.


1:00 PM – Stanford professor Thrun offered his, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online and free. 130,000 students signed up. —They will get the same lectures as students paying $50,000, same assignments, same exams, and, if they pass, “a statement of accomplishment”, but not Stanford credit. “Literally,” Thrun says, “we can probably get the same quality of education I teach in class for 1 to 2 percent of the cost.” The New York Times


12:25 PM – iTunes U online is running 300 million downloads a year, with 350,000 lectures offered by more than 1,000 universities worldwide. BBC News Oxford has 10 million downloads—130,000 per week. More than half the people using them are from the US and China.


9:45 am – 50% of respondents to the pre-conference survey believe that foreign universities will increasingly become competitors with U.S. universities for U.S. students.

95% believe that foreign students will be a major source of students in the future.


9:35 am – Did you know: global higher education enrollment increased 53% in the last decade?

Did you know: 20% of all college students in the world are studying outside of their home country.

October 5, 2011

5:00 pm – Pre-conference Survey:

  • 90% of respondents to the pre-conference survey believe that state funding for higher education will continue to decline.
  • 85% believe that federal funding for higher education will decrease in the future.
  • 75% believe that public support for higher education is destined to decline as costs increase.
  • 13% believe that public universities are well prepared to market their online programs effectively.


From DSC:
Besides the words “reinvent” and  innovation— and the phrase “the perfect storm” — the following graphic comes to my mind yet again:


Staying Relevant

The impact of new business models for higher education on student financing

Financing Higher Education in Developing Countries
Think Tank | Bellagio Conference Centre | 8-12 August 2011

Sir John Daniel (Commonwealth of Learning)
Stamenka Uvali-Trumbi (UNESCO)


The aim of this paper has been to suggest that in discussing student financing we need to look beyond the current standard model classroom teaching to the likely developments in learning systems over the next decade. These have the potential to cut costs dramatically and thereby lessen the challenge of student financing.

That is fortunate because nearly one-third of the world’s population (29.3%) is under 15. Today there are 165 million people enrolled in tertiary education.[2] Projections suggest that that participation will peak at 263 million in 2025.[3] Accommodating the additional 98 million students would require more than four major campus universities (30,000 students) to open every week for the next fifteen years unless alternative models emerge. (emphasis DSC)

Also see:

OER for beginners: An introduction to sharing learning resources openly in healthcare education
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) ( and the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC) ( are working in partnership to develop the HEFCE-funded Open Educational Resources (OER) programme, supporting UK higher education institutions in sharing their teaching and learning resources freely online across the world.

A visualization of the United States Debt — from

From DSC:
Though this is the U.S. debt, the ramifications of this affect the entire globe. I believe my cousin, Mr. Stephen Gibson, is correct when he says that we may well be heading towards a “Global Reset.”


Also see:

— as of 8/24/11 around noon


Addendums later on 8/24/11 from Academic Impressions:


First day of sessionMPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Just what are states pledging for higher ed these days?

  • Fidelity® study finds significant shifts over 5-yr period in how families tackle rising college costs
    Fifth Annual College Savings Indicator Study finds parents projected to meet only 16% of college costs, despite improved savings habits
    BOSTON – Fidelity Investments®, a leader in helping families save for college, today announced the results of its fifth annual College Savings Indicator study, which found significant shifts in savings behavior from 2007 to 2011, with more families: 1) starting to save in the preschool years despite financial pressures, 2) seeking guidance and saving for college using a dedicated account, such as a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan, and 3) making shared sacrifices to achieve their college savings goals.

    The study features the College Savings Indicator, a calculation of the percentage of projected college costs the typical American family is on track to cover, based on its current and expected savings. After four consecutive years of decline, the Indicator held steady to the prior year at 16 percent, down from 24 percent in 2007, when Fidelity first launched the study. While overall preparedness has declined, a larger percentage of parents — more than two-thirds (67 percent) — have begun saving for college costs, compared with 58 percent five years ago.


The news this summer is teeming with trillions. The national debt is more than $14 trillion. In a recent report, the credit rating agency Moody’s says the 1,600-plus U.S.-based companies it rates harbored some $1.2 trillion in cash at the end of 2010. The newly minted congressional supercommittee is charged with finding ways to pare the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion in the next decade.

Trillion. It’s the new black — tres chic, tres cher. The higher-water mark. If you’re not talking trillions, you’re talking chump change. All of a sudden we are tossing the term around like we understand it.


From DSC:
As always with my Learning Ecosystems blog, see the tags and categories that I referenced here as to how I think this item is especially relevant.



Launching the FY2011 Investing in Innovation (i3) Competition — from by Cameron Brenchley


Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched the 2011 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition.  This second round of i3 makes $150 million available to school districts and non-profit organizations to continue support of innovative approaches that significantly improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement, engagement and attainment.

Tagged with:  

From DSC:
I realize that many in education don’t view Bill and Melinda Gates with a great deal of admiration or respect. However, they and their foundation are about to make a hugely positive difference in — and contribution to — education. I’m sure that these grants will help create solutions that will feature professionally-done, highly-engaging, interactive, multimedia-based, team-created educational content. I hope that many of the solutions will feature sophisticated back-end engines that will allow for highly personalized/customized learning.

This is huge because such solutions are highly scalable. Plus look at who is involved at this point:

  • Pearson
  • Educurious Partners
  • Florida Virtual School
  • Institute of Play
  • Reasoning Mind
  • Quest Atlantis
  • Digital Youth Network

Also see:

Also see:


$1.5M grant jump-starts teacher development — by Jenna Zwang, which connects students with live tutors online for tutoring in math, science, social studies, and English, is the largest online tutoring and homework help service available—and, with help from a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the company is expanding its horizons to help teachers as well.

Press Release:
EDUCAUSE and NGLC announce second wave of funding

SEATTLE – Next Generation Learning Challenges today announced a new round of challenge grants that will provide up to $10 million to expand promising technology tools and applications that help more students master seventh- through ninth-grade math and literacy competencies, which are critical to college and career readiness. The initiative, which is already supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also announced today a $1.4 million investment from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to broaden funding for the program’s grants to innovators.

“This initiative has the potential to help change how the next generation of students learns,” said Paul Brest, president of the Hewlett Foundation. “Technology has a great role to play in advancing ‘deeper learning,’ an approach to improving education that helps students achieve a critical combination of the fundamental knowledge and practical skills they will need to succeed in a fiercely competitive global economy.”

Next Generation Learning Challenges provides investment capital to technologists, institutions, educators, and entrepreneurs to bring promising technology solutions to more students across the K-12 to postsecondary spectrum. The initiative released its first request for proposals (RFP)—focused on improving postsecondary education—in October 2010. Finalists eligible for funding from this round will be announced within the next several weeks.

Tagged with:  

One from DSC:

What goes up...must come down -- by Daniel S. Christian

A perfect storm has been building within higher education. Numerous, powerful forces have been converging that either already are or soon will be impacting the way higher education is offered and experienced. This paper focuses on one of those forces – the increasing price tag of obtaining a degree within higher education.  It will seek to show that what goes up…must come down.  Some less expensive alternatives are already here today; but the most significant changes and market “corrections” appear to be right around the corner. That is, higher education is a bubble about to burst.

One from CNBC:

Price of Admission: America's College Debt Crisis

— from CNBC on Monday, January 3, 2011

Also see:

From DSC:
Disclosure: I work for Calvin College. However, I publish the above items in the hopes that those of us at Calvin and within higher education as a whole will choose to innovate — that we will think outside the box in order to greatly lower the cost of providing a degree within higher education. It would be very helpful to future students, families, communities, nations.

No matter how you look at it, pain — but also opportunities — are ahead. Change will not be easy, nor will it be comfortable.  It will most likely be very scary and very tough. At least for me, this posting and the topic it discusses evokes major soul and heart searching for me. Nevertheless, the questions remain:

  • What changes do we need to make so that institutions of higher education can become more affordable? Stay relevant? Be sustainable over time?
  • What should we put in place of the current “status quo”?
  • Who receives the pain? Who enjoys the opportunities?

Also see:

Addendum on 1-19-11:

Student Loan Docume -- videos on Vimeo

Addendum on 1/22/10:
The Bubble: Higher Education’s Precarious Hold on Consumer Confidence — from National Association of Scholars

© 2022 | Daniel Christian