ON THE AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2015 | Public Agenda
Prospective college students, especially nontraditional ones, are not using existing resources in their college decisions. Public Agenda and New America joined Libby Nelson and a panel of researchers and policymakers to discuss how we can adjust policy to help prospective students better understand which college will be the right fit for them.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
09:00 AM – 11:30 AM
1899 L Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC, 20036
It's that time of year. Recent high school grads are loading up the family car and heading to State U or a private liberal arts college. They chose this college after carefully weighing their options, with help from their family members and guidance counselor. They'll spend the next four years coming of age living on a cozy campus.
Yet people don't realize that many first-time college students don't fit the traditional college student archetype that society tends to envision. They're not entering college straight from high school. They're taking classes while working full- or part-time. Many have families to care for. Moreover, many don't know about or have access to resources to help them make careful, well-informed decisions about what college is best for them.
The current research base on how students - especially older, "nontraditional" students - decide to attend and pay for college is incredibly thin. A lack of understanding about nontraditional students encourages policymakers to craft policies that are targeted only to a narrow subset of college students. It also promotes a system where students lack key information to help inform their decisions.
Recent survey research from Public Agenda and New America aims to help practitioners, researchers and policymakers better understand the expectations and concerns of today's students and the factors they consider when choosing a college. Findings from that research include:
How can the findings of these surveys help inform policymaking focused on improving student outcomes, particularly as Congress looks to reauthorize the Higher Education Act? How can we help prospective students have a better understanding of which college will be the right fit for them?
Click on the video below for a presentation of respective surveys from Public Agenda and New America and a follow-up panel discussion with researchers and policymakers.
9:00 AM: Breakfast and Registration
9:30 AM: Welcome and Opening Presentation
10:00 AM: Panel Discussion
Manager of Government Relations and Community Affairs, American Student Assistance
Principal, Pryor Education Insights
Director of Partnerships and Policy, National College Access Network
Moderator: Libby Nelson
Education Reporter, Vox