UW System Clipsheet

January 15, 2009

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On Campus

"Economy has mixed effects on college applications," Winona Daily News, Jan. 15.

Applications are down about 5 percent at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for fall 2009, suggesting the faltering economy might be affecting how students approach college. Prospective freshmen may be forgoing more expensive colleges amid the nation’s flagging economy or applying to fewer schools to save money, some officials said. Most of the UW system has seen applications for fall 2009 decline, said Kathryn Kiefer, UW-L director of admissions...

"Economy hurting universities' endowments," Leader-Telegram, Jan. 14.

The drop in the value of endowments at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and UW-River Falls is expected to reduce the amount of scholarship support each can provide next year. Between June 30 and Nov. 30, the value of endowments -- money given for a specific purpose -- dropped at each by more than 20 percent, according to figures provided by UW officials...

"Bulletin lists more than 400 scholarships," Marshfield News-Herald, Jan. 15.

With the cost of a college education escalating and the economic downturn, scholarships are more important than ever. According to a Dec. 3 report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the cost of a college education has increased 439 percent, while the median family income has only risen 147 percent, since 1982...

"Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy to be honored at celebration, march," Wausau Daily Herald, Jan. 15.

...On Sunday, two former University of Wisconsin Marathon County students will reminisce about their time spent with King during his 1967 visit to Wausau...Jim Perry, campus dean at UW-Fox Valley, and Jim Sturm, a retired Wisconsin administrative law judge, were UWMC Student Government leaders who helped to arrange King's historic visit to the area...

National

"Students paying more and getting less, study says," New York Times, Jan. 15.

College students are covering more of what it costs to educate them, even as most colleges are spending less on students, according to a new study. The study, based on data that colleges and universities report to the federal government, also found that the share of higher education budgets that goes to instruction has declined, while the portion spent on administrative costs has increased...

"Colleges cut instruction spending," USA Today, Jan. 15.

Most of the nation's colleges are gradually paring back their investments in classroom teaching, an analysis of federal data shows. And all colleges have in recent years been spending a greater share of their revenue on expenses other than instruction, including computing centers, student services, administrative salaries and lawn care...

"More for less," Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 15.

Most college students are carrying a greater share of the cost of their education, even as institutions spend less on teaching them, according to a report released today. The report, published by the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability, gives a potentially troubling picture of spending and revenue trends in higher education. Spanning from 2002 to 2006, the report indicates that tuition hikes have resulted in little if any new spending on classroom instruction at public research universities...

"Families seek help with college," Wall Street Journal, Jan. 15.

Unemployment is soaring, retirement plans are sinking, but the college-advisory business is booming. Test-prep classes have become the norm, and more parents are hiring educational consultants. "People may be giving up lattes and other expenses, but they're passionate about having options in education," says Joan Koven, owner of Academic Access in Havertown, Pa. There's still enormous competition to get into the top-tier schools, many of which offer the most generous aid packages and long-term job security. Families also hope that by spending thousands up-front on test prep and private counselors, they'll save more long-term if junior snags a scholarship or a spot at a prestigious public university...

"Families await sharpest tuition increases in years," Associated Press, Jan. 15.

Most high school seniors and their families have not made final college plans for next fall. But they know this: It's probably going to cost more than they had planned. Even in good economic times, states and colleges have largely failed to hold tuition increases in line with inflation. Now as the slumping economy forces states to slash spending, students can expect the sharpest increases in years...

"Report on college spending trends highlights inequities in financing model," Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 15.

An analysis of spending trends that is designed to discourage policy makers’ “myopic focus” on finding new revenue rather than reining in spending suggests that the model for financing college has reinforced educational inequities and failed to increase the rate at which students graduate. What’s more, according to the analysis, “serious fault lines” in the current system threaten to undermine America’s capacity to educate its citizens... (paid subscription required)

"Grad students think twice about jobs in academe," Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 15.

...According to new research from Berkeley, Ms. Doran’s negative view of faculty life at a top research institution is common. The large study of the University of California’s graduate students revealed that less than half—29 percent of women and 46 percent of men—perceived major research institutions to be family-friendly workplaces for tenure-track professors. While in graduate school, many begin to think about other careers paths. That means the pipeline for junior professors at top research universities could become increasingly leaky... (paid subscription required)