Office of Planning and Budgeting

Higher Ed News Roundup

A few highlights amidst the higher education news this week:

  • The NYT ran a front-page feature on student debt this past Sunday. Many noted the misleading focus, common in popular press coverage of student loans, on individual students with abnormally high loan amounts, but more surprising was the claim that 94 percent of all students owe money at graduation. The correct figure is 2/3rds. The NYT has corrected the piece and explained that they misinterpreted Department of Education data, but the figure is happily bouncing around the internet and probably will be for some time.
  • With another growing budget gap in California, the Governor’s revised budget contains additional cuts to higher education if voters don’t pass a tax hike at the polls this November. The UC and CSU system will face $250m in new state funding cuts if the tax package is not approved.
  • Several top tier institutions are experimenting with creating humanities PhDs that feature shorter time to degree and prepare students for potential careers both inside and outside of the academy.
  • The College Board made an interesting choice in their next leader, 42 year old David Coleman. Coleman was the co-founder of the nonprofit Student Achievement Partners, which helped develop and promote the Common Core Standards, which define what a student should learn and know in english and math through the 12th grade.  
  • MIT Provost and longtime faculty member L. Rafael Rife will replace Susan Hockfield as MIT President when she steps down. Reif was a leader in the development of MIT’s open courseware and online education efforts including the development of both MITx and the new edX partnership with Harvard.



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