10 Questions Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education

10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher EducationDownload PDF Buy Publication

In today’s uncertain economy, states are feeling the pressure to reduce budgets while maintaining high-quality institutions of higher education—institutions that are instrumental in providing Americans the opportunity to earn post-secondary degrees.

This publication guides you as you navigate the complex issues of higher education. 10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education poses 10 key questions and, more importantly, gives you the resources to find answers to those questions. The guide is intended to help you maximize the return on taxpayer dollars while enhancing the quality of higher education American college students receive.

10 Questions

  1. How do American college completion rates compare, and why do they matter?
  2. Are students prepared for college?
  3. What college-preparatory systems are in place, and do they sufficiently monitor if students are on track?
  4. How accessible is a college education?
  5. How is higher education financed?
  6. What is the price of a college education, and how affordable is it?
  7. How strong is academic quality?
  8. Are college students prepared to enter the workforce?
  9. How can accountability and transparency in higher education be improved?
  10. What innovations are being used in higher education to better serve students?

Appendix A: Alphabetical Compendium of Higher Education Resources
Appendix B: Flow Chart of Resources from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences for State Legislators

Facts on Higher Education

  • 38 percent of Americans ages 25-64 hold post-secondary degrees.
  • Americans ages 55-64 rank lead the world in post-secondary degree attainment. Americans ages 25-34 tie for 10th place.
  • Only 18 out of 100 American ninth-graders will earn a college degree within the next 10 years.
  • Unemployment rates are twice as high for those with a high school diploma compared to those with a bachelor’s degree or higher—10.8 percent versus 4.9 percent.
  • 61 percent of public two-year college students and 25 percent of four-year students complete at least one remedial education course.
  • Tuition and fees are rising at a rate of more than four times the consumer price index—outpacing food, housing, and medical care.

10 Questions Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education by ALEC_States

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