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Higher Ed Spotlight

December 30, 1899


Higher Ed Spotlight is a collection of infographics that cover relevant and timely issues of interest to higher education stakeholders. CPRS graduate research associates identify topics and conduct analyses for many of CPRS’ Higher Ed Spotlight infographics. Suggestions for future spotlights are welcome. To contact us, please email


Infographics in the Series

The Federal Perkins Loan Program

The Federal Perkins Loan Program, established in 1958, is a low-interest federal loan program for students with financial need that is funded through a partnership with the federal government and participating higher education institutions. In September 2015, the loan program expired. In December 2015, however, Congress passed a two-year extension of the program with revised terms. Under these adjusted terms, new borrowers must first exhaust all of their direct loan eligibility before they can be offered Perkins dollars. In addition, new graduate students are no longer eligible for the program. Despite limiting the pool of eligible students, the new terms maintain the low interest rate of 5 percent as well as the in-school interest subsidy. Without further legislative action, no new Perkins loans may be awarded after September 30, 2017.

Chief Academic Officer Survey Infographics Series

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) Survey Infographic Series highlights results from CPRS' most recent Chief Academic Officer (CAO) Survey. The infographics provide data on CAOs' backgrounds, professional pathways, and job duties and tenure, as well as characteristics of women CAOs.

Pipelines, Pathways, and Institutional Leadership: An Update on the Status of Women in Higher Education

This report offers an update of key descriptive statistics on women in higher education in an effort to promote dialogue on how to move the needle and increase the number of women leaders. Next steps are provided from the important work at the University of Denver.

1862 and 1890 Land-Grant University Contributions to the STEM Workforce

What is a Land-Grant University? A land-grant university (LGU) is an institution designated by a state or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The original mission of these institutions was to teach agriculture and mechanical arts so that working-class and African American citizens could obtain a liberal, practical education. Although 1862 and 1890 LGUs share a similar mission, 1862 LGUs are predominantly white institutions (PWIs), whereas all 1890 LGUs are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Collectively, LGUs are positioned to prepare diverse, well-trained students to enter the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM) workforce. 

Faculty Engagement in Internationalization

This infographic provides statistics on faculty engagement in internationalization. As the drivers of teaching and research on campus, faculty play a critical role in higher education institutions’ efforts to internationalize. However, data from colleges and universities participating in ACE’s 2011 Mapping In​​ternationalization on U.S. Campuses survey indicate that institutional support for faculty engagement in internationalization does not always reflect this reality. Data in this infographic are for four-year institutions​.

Military-Connected Undergraduates

This infographic provides statistics on military-connected undergraduates, which include National Guard members, reservists, active duty personnel, and veterans. The drawdown of military personnel from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has contributed to substantial growth in the number of military-connected students who use VA/DoD educational benefits to enroll in our nation’s colleges and universities. However, a one-size-fits-all understanding of military-connected students may lead to policy actions and support systems that conflate substantive differences on factors that influence their higher education access and success.​​​

Black Male Division I Basketball and Football Student-Athletes
Black male student-athletes comprise roughly 9% of the 1.8 million full-time undergraduate men enrolled at colleges and universities with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I intercollegiate teams. Within athletics, black men make up 56% of basketball team members and 47% of football team members. We used NCAA data from a nationally representative sample of student-athletes to explore the collegiate experiences, attitudes and perceptions, and academic outcomes of Division I black male basketball and football student-athletes.​
American Indians and Alaska Natives in Undergraduate Education

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) undergraduates are a diverse group in many ways, including the number of tribes they represent−566 federally recognized tribes across 35 states. National data help us understand degree aspirations and enrollment and financial aid trends that get lost in generalizations of the understudied AI/AN population that represents almost 1% of the national college student body. This infographic provides statistics on AI/AN students in undergraduate education.

Credit for Prior Learning Implementation Matrix

Credit for prior learning (CPL), also known as prior learning assessment, has become more salient in current conversations on postsecondary attainment than ever before. Given renewed and broad interest in prior learning initiatives, ACE developed a matrix that can be used as a tool for college and university administrators to explore where they are along a spectrum in each of three key areas (e.g., student outreach and support, faculty engagement, and campus infrastructure) that support sustained CPL policy and practice. The 3 stages in the continuum are new/emerging, developing, and effective practice. ​

International Joint and Dual Degree Programs

International joint and dual degrees are emerging as a strategy by which institutions can establish multidimensional partnerships involving faculty, staff, and students. Potential benefits include increased employability of graduates, revenue generation for the institution, and quality improvement through the sharing of good practices. We use data from the survey of U.S. institutions conducted by ACE in January 2014 to show program profiles, as well as key issues and challenges faced by institutions implementing these programs.​

Basic Facts about US High​​er Education Today

In today's society, a postsecondary education is critical to good citizenship, individual opportunity, and national competitiveness. Higher education in the United States comprises thousands of institutions that serve a wide diversity of students and an equally wide variety of academic preparation levels. As the demand for higher education grows, unpacking this diversity has become important to inform public dialogue about how students access higher education and whether or not they are successful.​ This infographic provides basic facts about US higher education today. 

Paying for College

​This infographic provides statistics on how students pay for college.​​​ How to pay for college is an important decision for every student and their families. Students rely on a variety of sources to finance their education. These include personal savings, work-study jobs, student loans and grants from a number of stakeholders (institutions, states, and the federal government). Knowing what students actually pay, and what support is available to them, is critical to understanding the true costs of college. 

Undergraduate Student Veterans
This infographic provides statistics on undergraduate student veterans in postsecondary education. Over 5 million post-9/11 service members are expected to transition out of the military by 2020. Since the enactment of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2008, Americans have invested over $42 billion on educating many of these transitioning service members. However, little is known about student veterans and their enrollment characteristics at a time when higher education and policymakers need to better understand the needs of this growing, posttraditional undergraduate population.​
Single Parent Students

This infographic provides statistics on undergraduate single parents in postsecondary education. In the 2011–2012 academic year, U.S. colleges and universities enrolled 3.5 million students who were also single parents, a group that represents 15.2% of the undergraduate population. This growing demographic group of post-traditional students must balance academic, family, and work responsibilities at the same time.

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