NEBHE’s Policy & Research team serves as a critical resource to higher education decision-makers, policy leaders, legislators and business leaders across New England informing action through research, analysis and best practices shaped by strong collaboration and shared expertise.

New England Fast Facts: The Price of Public Colleges in New England, 2017-18

November 2018

In New England and across the U.S., it has never been more critical to hold a postsecondary credential to be able to fully participate in the workforce and earn a living wage. Yet, in recent years the cost of a college degree has risen precipitously — oftentimes becoming prohibitively expensive for far too many Americans to attend college. New England’s public colleges are the most affordable and financially accessible option for most individuals in the region, and their primary mission is to serve each of their state’s residents. Published tuition and fee rates play a significant role in students’ and their families’ decision about which college to attend to whether to even pursue a college degree. This brief takes an in-depth look at the tuition and required fees published by public two- and four-year postsecondary institutions in New England. 

 


Student Transfer in New England: Are We Making Progress?

August 2018

Higher education students in the U.S. have been transferring at record levels. More than two-thirds who earn bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions today have changed colleges at least once according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. However, the U.S. Department of Education reported in 2015 that on average, students who transfer lose 13 credits already earned and paid for. The impact of lost credit on students is enormous and contributes to students taking an average of five or more years to earn a four-year degree. This brief explores if states in the region are making progress in developing policies and practices that: Facilitate transfer; Mitigate credit loss; Offer students who began at a community college and transferred to a four-year institution the opportunity to earn an associate degree through reverse transfer; Offer students who began at a community college and transferred to a four-year institution the opportunity to earn an associate degree through reverse transfer.


Learning for Life and Work

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March 2018

The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Commission on Higher Education & Employability released a major report with recommendations to increase the career readiness of graduates of New England colleges and universities and improve their transitions to work. Chaired by Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, the 50-member Commission invested 11 months in public meetings and working group sessions exploring New England employers’ concerns about a lack of qualified, skilled workers, particularly in rapidly changing, technology-intensive and growth-oriented industries. In its report, “Learning for Life and Work,” the Commission offers a strategic action agenda with 18 key recommendations to align institutions, policymakers and employers.


New England Fast Facts: Undocumented Students & Access to Higher Ed

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September 2017

An update to NEBHE’s earlier released report, Policy Spotlight on New England: Undocumented Students & Access to Higher Ed. This Fast Facts includes current figures on the number of DACA participants in New England, as well as legislation before Congress.


New England Fast Facts: The Price of Public Colleges in New England, 2016-17

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August 2017

As postsecondary education becomes increasingly vital to the livelihood of New England residents and the region as a whole, policymakers are taking a more critical look at the price of college. As the lowest-price institutions, whose primary mission is to serve state residents, public colleges’ tuition and fees are especially of interest to state policymakers. Published tuition and fee rates are a major part of the equation of what students and families must pay for college. This Fast Facts in New England examines average tuition and required fees for state residents at public institutions in each New England state and in the region as a whole.


Policy Spotlight on New England: Undocumented Students & Access to Higher Ed

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Spring 2017

While institutional leadership continues to play a big role in enrolling, retaining and graduating undocumented students, state policy and legislative action is crucial to supporting these students. Undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid programs such as Pell Grants, work study and government loans. As a result, these students rely almost exclusively on state support. Twenty states offer some form of financial aid to undocumented students, and most extend in-state tuition to undocumented students. Nationally, six states provide both in-state tuition and state financial aid. In New England, only two states offer financial support. Connecticut and Rhode Island extend in-state tuition to undocumented students if they meet certain criteria such as having attended a state high school for two or more years and graduated.


New England Fast Facts: Completion Colleges: A Primer for Policymakers

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October 2016

Completion colleges may present an affordable, alternative option for adults who’d like to attain a degree and who may otherwise turn to a private for-profit institution. Like many private for-profits, completion colleges are designed to serve adults who have been delayed in completing their degrees by offering more flexibility than many traditional colleges and universities.

Completion colleges do this by aggregating credits earned at other institutions with “prior learning.” Faculty members at completion colleges assess prior learning—college-level skills and knowledge often learned outside the classroom—to ensure that students don’t have to take and pay for courses on content they have already mastered. This “prior learning assessment” (PLA) may come in forms such as student portfolios that demonstrate mastery of course content, a subject assessment offered by the completion college, industry licensure or military experience. Once prior learning credits are applied toward a degree, most of the remaining courses necessary to complete a degree can be taken online.


Policy Spotlight on New England: Dual Enrollment Policies & Programs

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September 2016

For the last 15 years, dual enrollment programs have been a high priority policy to tackle college readiness, affordability, and time to degree, with programs in all six New England states. However, opaque or confusing guidelines can disadvantage students looking to apply their credits to degrees or even leave some groups of students behind.

This NEBHE Policy Spotlight presents a regional overview of dual enrollment policies and programs. In addition, state-by-state program summaries illuminate policy gaps and areas ripe for improvement in New England.


Using Khan Academy in Community College Developmental Math Courses: Results and Lessons Learned from Developmental Math Demonstration Project

September 2016

This brief reports on the effectiveness of using Khan Academy in developmental math coursework, career and technical courses and Accuplacer math boot camps. The three-year Developmental Math Demonstration Project was funded by Lumina Foundation and piloted in 12 community colleges across New England. The brief reports on student and instructor perceptions of using Khan Academy as well as project outcomes and challenges encountered by faculty.


Higher Education’s Impact on the New England Economy: Investing in People

August 2016

Higher education institutions are huge drivers of the New England economy. At a time when the goalposts are moving for the workforce, especially in terms of earning postsecondary degrees and credentials, understanding and supporting higher education’s contribution to the economy is crucial to maintaining regional competitiveness. The first in a new series from NEBHE, Higher Education’s Impact on the New England Economy: Investing in People explores how higher education fuels the regional economy through attracting, developing and retaining its most critical resource: its people.


Policy Spotlight on New England: A Look at the Relationship between Policy and Practice in K-12 Education Reform: Insights for State and District Leaders

June 2016

New England states, historically known as bastions of local control over public education, provide an especially interesting setting for examining the nexus of state policy and local practice. This Policy Spotlight delves into the implementation of a competency-based education system in districts across New Hampshire as a case study to illustrate important challenges to, and strategies for, statewide educational transformation.


New England Fast Facts: College Readiness in New England

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May 2016

College readiness, due to little agreement on a definition and metrics, is difficult to measure. Yet, it’s important because it influences postsecondary enrollment, the time it takes to obtain a degree, and overall college completion. Further, the number of jobs that require higher education continues to grow: the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workplace estimates that 65% of all jobs will require at least some postsecondary education by 2020. College readiness directly impacts the development of a productive workforce. This Fast Facts in New England examines the college readiness of the region’s high school students using the most recent available measures and data.


Policy Spotlight on New England: How Selective Colleges and Universities Evaluate Proficiency-Based High School Transcripts — Insights for Students and Schools

April 2016

As proficiency-based education models become more common across the country and the region, high school students and parents have raised questions and concerns regarding how proficiency-based transcripts will be viewed in the college admissions process—especially at highly selective US colleges and universities. Of greatest concern is whether proficiency-based learning and grading will disadvantage students in the college application and evaluation process. To help answer these questions, the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) convened a meeting of admissions leaders from highly selective New England colleges and universities and facilitated a robust discussion on the topic. This Policy Spotlight on New England offers insights from that meeting.


New England Fast Facts: The Price of Public Colleges in New England

March 2016

As postsecondary education becomes increasingly vital to the livelihood of New England residents and the region as a whole, policymakers are taking a more critical look at the price of college. As the lowest-price institutions, whose primary mission is to serve state residents, public colleges’ tuition and fees are especially of interest to state policymakers. Published tuition and fee rates are a major part of the equation of what students and families must pay for college. This Fast Facts in New England examines average tuition and required fees for state residents at public institutions in each New England state and in the region as a whole.


Strengthening State Investment in College Affordability: Insights and Recommendations from Redesigning Student Aid in New England

February 2016

In an effort to support college affordability in the region, NEBHE initiated the Redesigning Student Aid in New England project (Redesigning Aid) in 2014. Funded by Lumina Foundation, Redesigning Aid combined custom state financial aid research with expertise of national experts and regional practitioners to support states committed to analyzing and redesigning state financial aid programs and policies. Drawn from discussions of the project’s Regional Advisory Council, this report shares key insights from Redesigning Aid and recommendations for how higher education leaders can strengthen state investment in college affordability.


New England Fast Facts: The Region’s Higher Education Landscape

September 2015

Higher education in New England stands apart from the rest of the nation in a number of ways, such as its history as a pioneer of U.S. postsecondary education, its large private nonprofit sector, and its ability to attract students from outside the region. Thus, conversations about higher education in the region—especially those around federal and state policy—must be prefaced with an understanding of New England’s unique context. This New England Fast Facts sets the stage for those conversations by describing some of the unique elements of the region’s higher education landscape.


Policy Spotlight on New England: Dual Admissions for Transfer Students

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September 2015

This Policy Spotlight on New England communicates lessons learned about dual admissions policies and programs that serve transfer students across the region. It summarizes the discussion, findings, and feedback of enrollment management, academic affairs, and transfer professionals who participated in a convening on transfer and articulation policies hosted by NEBHE and Education Commission of the States in June 2015.


New England Fast Facts: Student Transfer

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July 2015

This New England Fast Facts uses National Student Clearinghouse data to shed light on recent student transfer patterns in New England to help policymakers and practitioners who serve transfer students envision and implement plans to better serve them in the future.


The State of Maine Grant Impact Study Preliminary Findings

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June 2015

Preliminary findings of NEBHE’s study of the State of Maine Grant program were released as part of Redesigning Student Aid in New England project (Redesigning Aid). Funded by Lumina Foundation, Redesigning Aid is a two-year initiative focused on exploring how states might redesign and align their student financial aid policies, priorities and programs with state needs to increase postsecondary attainment. These findings identify who the grant serves and how grant recipients persist through college and complete a postsecondary credential. The report aims to inform Maine grant administrators and state policymakers as they consider areas for project-supported further study.


The Rhode Island State Grant Impact Study Preliminary Findings

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June 2015

Preliminary findings of NEBHE’s study of the Rhode Island State Grant program were released as part of Redesigning Student Aid in New England project (Redesigning Aid). Funded by Lumina Foundation, Redesigning Aid is a two-year initiative focused on exploring how states might redesign and align their student financial aid policies, priorities and programs with state needs to increase postsecondary attainment. These findings identify some of the ways the state grant affects student access, persistence, and completion. It aims to inform project-supported next steps for Rhode Island grant administrators and state policymakers as they consider program or policy changes.


2014-15 Public Tuition and Fees Data Supplement

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May 2015

As a data-rich companion to The New England Journal of Higher Education’s On Affordability: Public Higher Education in New England, this data supplement provides a portfolio of figures that track and examine tuition and fees for both the region overall and each New England state.


On the Move: Supporting Student Transfer

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April 2014

College students today are more mobile than they have ever been before. Nationwide, one in every three college students will transfer at least once during their academic careers. Unfortunately, many students find navigating the transfer process problematic and end up losing a portion of their credits in the transition. This landscape analysis details state- and system-level transfer policies, programs and online resources available to help students navigate the transfer process in each of the New England states.


2013 Public Tuition and Fees Report

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March 2014

New England’s public colleges and universities are historically more expensive than institutions in other parts of the country. When the 2007 recession hit and family incomes plunged, these higher-than-average tuition and fees made a college education even less affordable for many families. Seven years later, the rate of increase has slowed, but rising tuition and fees at public 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions in New England continue to outpace modest growth in median household income. This report outlines these trends in tuition and fees and reviews state strategies to make college more affordable for New England students and families.


2012 Tuition and Fees Report

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February 2013

New England public postsecondary tuition and fees are traditionally higher than national averages. This report outlines trends in published tuition and fee rates at public two- and four-year institutions over the past five years and demonstrates the growth in published tuition and fee rates relative to median household income. With 2011 median household income in the region still below 2008 pre-recession levels, many students are spending a greater share of their household income on listed tuition and mandatory fee rates than in previous years.


Previous Publications

Student Grant Aid in New England, December 2012

Assessing and Increasing College Readiness in New England, September 2012

2011 Tuition & Fees Report, September 2011

Catalyst for Completion: Performance-Based Funding in Higher Education, March 2011

Special Policy Report: Post-Election Coverage of New England’s Fall 2010 Midterm Results, November 2010

Special Policy Report: New England Election Update, Fall 2010