Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Overview

Higher Education Beat

A blog about issues affecting postsecondary education.

A blog about issues affecting postsecondary education.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?
Experts outline problems with - and efforts to improve - use of SAT scores, affirmative action, school lotteries.

Are ‘Merit’-based Education Admissions Practices Racist?

It is one of the thorniest topics in education: What criteria should be used to fairly determine which students are admitted to America’s “elite” public schools, colleges and universities? 

Many top schools have faced criticism in recent decades for not reflecting the nation’s racial and socioeconomic diversity.

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Racism at VMI
The Washington Post’s Ian Shapira shares backstory to his prize-winning investigation of racist policies and practices at Virginia Military Institute
(EWA Radio Episode 270)

photo of VMI Corps of Cadets on parade at 2017 inauguration of President Trump.

The impact of reporter Ian Shapira’s deep dive into the troubled culture at the nation’s oldest state-support military college was seismic: within days, the Virginia Military Institute’s leader had resigned, and Gov. Ralph Northam pledged an independent investigation.

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The Billions of Dollars in Hidden Student Loan Debt
Students who fall behind on their loans to their for-profit colleges find themselves unable to move forward with their careers until the debt is paid off
(EWA Radio Episode 266)

illustration of scale with money on one side and books with mortar cap on the other.

The impact of America’s $1.5 trillion in student loan debt makes a lot of headlines. But one team of reporters dug into a little-known corner of the student debt market and discovered a pattern of rule-evading and abuses that is destroying the educational opportunities and careers of tens of thousands of Americans.

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Why More Men Are Missing Out on College
The decline in student enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic is seven times as steep for men as women, raising questions about the long-term impact on individuals and communities (EWA Radio Episode 261)

image of male student by Kate Flock for Hechinger Report

COVID-19 is remaking the college landscape, especially when it comes to who’s pursuing –  and who’s pausing – on higher education. New data shows the decline in enrollment is seven times as large for men as for women. 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

How COVID-19 Is Crushing Colleges’ Budgets
Experts offer story ideas on inequities, budget squeezes and college closures.

The COVID-19 pandemic “is the most significant crisis (higher education) has faced, even going back to the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, and the Vietnam War protests,” said Carlos Santiago, the Massachusetts commissioner of higher education and a 40-year veteran of the sector.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

3 Surprising Ways COVID-19 Is Changing College Admissions And Tests
Experts offer new angles for reporters covering SAT, ACT and the test-optional movement.

Prom, graduation, the SAT. For decades, those three springtime rites of passage have been important steps for American teens marching toward adulthood.

But the coronavirus pandemic upended those traditions for the 3.7 million students in the high school class of 2020. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Investigative Reporters: What to Do When The Story Changes
Three strategies for piloting journalistic projects through news and change.

It’s hard enough these days for journalists to get the time, resources and editorial support they need to pursue ambitious projects. So when the story changes, or news, of, say, a pandemic breaks, reporters may fear that their story and hard work will be abandoned.  

But reporters who build good rapport with their editors, stay organized, and work out ways to incorporate new developments into their stories can save and even elevate their projects, according to teams of journalists from The Washington Post and APM Reports.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

How to Cover The Way Race and Racism Are Taught
Start your research by checking reading assignments, instructor pay, and student demographics

Unsplash/Tim Wildsmith

Police brutality, race and social justice have long been on the syllabus for college professors who teach about ethnicity and cultural issues. But now, incidents such as the killing of George Floyd and protests against systemic racism have sparked much broader interest in race and diversity issues, according to three experts who spoke at the Education Writers Association’s 2020 Higher Education Seminar. 

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COVID-19 College
NPR's Elissa Nadworny hits the road to document how colleges and universities are adapting in coronavirus pandemic era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)

photo of Elissa Nadworny on location

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.

EWA Radio

On the Road With NPR’s Higher Ed Reporter
A nationwide road trip yields insights, first-person accounts of postsecondary life in the coronavirus era
(EWA Radio: Episode 250)

photo of Elissa Nadworny on location

Who takes a cross-country reporting road trip in the midst of a pandemic? NPR’s Elissa Nadworny decided it was the only way to find out for herself what life is really like on college campuses these days, and how students, faculty and administrators are dealing with a new world of logistical challenges.