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The structure of higher education

Order Description


1 The main text of the paper should be about 5-6 pages, with tables and charts as necessary (tables and charts do not count toward the page limit).
2 The due date for the paper is November 12.
3 This assignment is a short quantitative project where you are asked to throw light on a topic of interest to policymakers, bringing data to bear upon the issue. I have chosen the following topic, which consists of highlighting recent trends in tuition and enrollments at a public flagship university. As you will see, this is becoming more and more important in public discourse, as selective public universities seek to balance declining state aid with their objective of ensuring widespread access to higher education.. ( focusing more on evidence based on aggregated data, which would be likely to be true on average. Generally speaking, you should avoid answering questions based on personal experience or beliefs rather than academic evidence)

1)Briefly describe the structure of higher education – focusing mostly on the public sector – in the state of New York. (You should be able to find all or most of this information online – just visit the state education department (NYSED) website, or the Regents website, or Wikipedia or do a simple search. ) I do not want a comprehensive description – just mention the public flagship institution, total enrollment in the public flagship institution compared to other 4-year and 2-year public colleges (which would indicate importance of the flagship institution within the state), etc.

Note that New York might consider more than one of the SUNY’s as flagships. For example, the Rizzo and Ehrenberg paper considers both SUNY-Albany and SUNY-Buffalo as flagships, but the two Education Trust reports (Engines of Inequality and Opportunity Adrift) consider SUNY-Buffalo as the flagship. (Other reports sometimes include SUNY-Binghamton as the flagship).
For purposes of this assignment, consider SUNY-Albany as the flagship.

2)Describe what has been happening to state appropriations, tuition (both in-state and out-of-state) and student aid at SUNY-Albany. Begin with the mid-1990s or late 1990s, and go on to as far in the recent past – say 2009, 2010 or 2011 – as you get data on.

3)Describe what has been happening to student enrollment at SUNY-Albany. Disaggregate student enrollment in terms of in-state students and out-of-students, and in terms of demographic characteristics like race/ethnicity, income and parental education (depending on data availability).

4)What do you think will happen to student enrollment, and to student composition, now that SUNY has increased its tuition? See the two references listed at the end of the assignment.
5)Discuss your findings in view of the analyses in the papers listed below – the Rizzo and Ehrenberg paper, the two Education Trust publications, and the McDuff paper (skip the technical details, particularly in the Rizzo-Ehrenberg and McDuff papers). Feel free to use any other paper you think is relevant – the above-mentioned papers also have some references.

6) Suppose you are the “enrollment manager” at SUNY-Albany. What would you do? (Hint: For what enrollment managers do, read the Fallows commentary in The Atlantic, as well as the articles I have pasted at the end of this assignment.



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