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Milford's College-Bound Rate More Rosy Than Recent Headlines Would Suggest

Recent headlines would suggest a negative picture for Milford's college-bound graduates. Headlines can be deceiving. Read here to find out the whole story.

Recent news articles have carried the headline that Milford's college-bound rate dipped compared to the previous calendar year.  The headlines, however, don't tell the whole story.

First, let's look at the reported dip, from 60.0% in the 2010-2011 year to 59.3% in the 2011-2012. This dip is for 4 year college enrollment.  Assuming 500 or so HS seniors in the city, this amounts to between 3 to 4 students less than the previous year have applied to 4-year colleges--hardly a huge dip.

Offsetting that ever-so-slight dip, however, is a 5-percentage point rise in students applying to 2-year colleges.  Taken together, this represents over a 4-point increase in Milford students applying to either a 4- or 2-year college.  The shift toward 2-year schools seems reasonable given the difficult economic climate experienced over the past few years.

In addition, Milford students attending top-tier universities far exceeded the targeted amount from the Board of Education 96 to 68, or 141% of target.  The tough economy is likely to make this number drop as tuitions came due, but is impressive nevertheless.

On balance, the picture for Milford graduates appears to be more positive than negative.

Can things be improved?  Absolutely.  However, as with everything, the devil is in the details.  It is important to look at the whole picture before arriving at an eye-catching headline conclusion.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

CuriousOrange August 25, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Looking for the devil? Track the skyrocketing rate of tuition and student debt. Tuition increases have exceeded inflation for a long time (while universities have cut spending on libraries -- where does the money go?) Student debt exceeds consumer credit card debt and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Mark Ahrens August 25, 2012 at 03:48 PM
@CuriousOrange: Agreed. I think we are at an inflection point in the way in which higher education is delivered and consumed in our country. Skyrocketing prices, high student debt, tough job market, a profound dislocation between the available jobs and the work force's training to perform those jobs are creating a confluence of forces that, I believe, will dramatically change how people receive their higher education in 10-15 years time. View Coursera (www.coursera.com) for instance. This is a consortium of top-flight universities that have put courses online for free. This is not to say that college education will be free, only that the marketplace is already morphing in reaction to some of the forces I list above. I don't have a crystal ball to predict how the delivery of higher education will change, only that the path we are on is unsustainable.
RONALD M GOLDWYN August 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM
On Wednesday I will have my 2 grandsons in college. The older one will be finishing his college course in auto-mechanics while at the same time working for Colonial Toyota thus helping to pay for his tuition at Gateway CC. His younger brother just graduated from Jonathan Law High School and will attend college in Boston with a major in computer networking. What their future will be could be financially rewarding for both brothers. More important is that both will be entering fields that they both love from a school system that prepared them for advanced education. Finally, one comment on the poll being discussed. What is lacking are the statistics regarding those students who have received their Associates degree and then entered a four year college to complete their education.

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