Key Indicators on the Path To a Bachelor’s Degree by Race and Ethnicity in Maryland (4.20.16)

Joseph Popovich

This policy brief examines the path to college degree attainment in Maryland by race and ethnicity. Using data at three different points on the path to a college degree, it shows very different representation by racial/ethnicity at each point. Popovich discusses the challenges these disparities present and the implications of these trends for increasing the number of college graduates from Maryland’s higher education institutions.


Policy Brief: Key Indicators on the Path to a Bachelor’s Degree by Race and Ethnicity in Maryland


Trends in Maryland College-Bound Seniors’ SAT Scores (3.17.16)

Joseph Popovich

In 2015, SAT scores for Maryland’s college-bound seniors dropped for the fifth consecutive year, and over the past ten years have increasingly fallen below those of their national counterparts. In 2015, Maryland scored 23 points below the national average. In this data brief, Joseph Popovich examines trends in SAT scores of Maryland test takers, comparing them to national averages. He discusses the implications of these trends in light of the state goal of increasing the number of college graduates.


Data Brief: Trends in Maryland College-Bound Seniors’ SAT Scores


Why is the Number of College Freshmen Declining in Maryland? (10.27.15)

Joseph Popovich

The number of new full-time freshmen enrolling in Maryland colleges has decreased by 14% between 2009 and 2014, yet the number of high school graduates in the state has remained essentially unchanged. In this policy brief, Joseph Popovich examines trends in freshmen college enrollment, and identifies several factors that help explain the downturn. Taking into account the demographic shifts in the state’s K-12 population, Popovich discusses the implications of these trends for college enrollment and graduation in Maryland.


Why is the Number of College Freshmen Declining in Maryland?


Can a Percent Plan Be a Successful Race-Neutral Alternative to Race-Conscious Affirmative Action in Maryland? (9.22.15)

Daniel Klasik

Many colleges have used race-conscious affirmative action policies to boost the enrolment of underrepresented minority students. However, the 2013 Fisher v. the University of Texas decision from the Supreme Court has thrown race-based affirmative action policies into doubt. Some states have tried race-neutral alternatives such as percent plans that guarantee admission if the applicant graduates within some top percentage of their high school class. In this policy brief, Daniel Klasik explores whether and how a percent plan might work in Maryland.


Policy Brief: Can a Percent Plan Be A Successful Race-Neutral Alternative to Race-Conscious Affirmative Action in Maryland?


A State-by-State Assessment of Percent Plans as a Race-Neutral Means of Achieving Postsecondary Racial Diversity. (November 2014)

Daniel Klasik & Justin Dayhoff

In light of recent court decisions on affirmation action in college admissions decisions, states and public universities have searched for race-neutral alternatives to current race-based affirmative action policies. This working paper explores one of these alternatives—percent plans—and the extent to which these plans provide viable race-neutral admissions alternatives. Using nationally representative data, the authors estimate the potential composition of a class of students admitted under a percent plan policy in every state. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for maintaining racial diversity in public universities.


Working paper: A State-by-State Assessment of Percent Plans as a Race-Neutral Means of Achieving Postsecondary Racial Diversity


Academic Transformations: Redesigning College Remedial Courses to Achieve Equity (5.16.14)

Erin Knepler, Daniel Klasik & Gail L. Sunderman

As the need for postsecondary credentials becomes more important, colleges and universities are increasingly seeking ways to address the needs of students entering college underprepared. This policy brief examines the efforts of Maryland high education leaders to redesign remedial courses that college students often must take before transitioning into credit-bearing courses. The brief provides both national and Maryland state data on remediation course taking and completion, and then reviews preliminary data on remediation course redesign undertaken in Maryland colleges. It concludes with recommendations for how policymakers and educators can enhance the use of course redesign to both create change and promote equity.


Policy Brief: Academic Transformations: Redesigning College Remedial Courses to Achieve Equity


Three Maryland Policies to Address College Affordability Concerns: What Does the Research Say? (2.27.14)

Daniel Klasik & Caroline Titan

As the costs of attending college have escalated, policymakers are increasingly searching for ways to address these rising costs. Three proposed bills now before the Maryland General Assembly are designed to help ease college affordability concerns. These bills—the Pay it Forward model of revenue generation, a proposed income tax credit for student loan repayment, and a policy to help high-achieving, low-income students make smarter decisions about college attendance—are all designed to help middle- and low-income students attend college and address affordability concerns.

This policy brief discusses the theoretical basis for each piece of legislation and reviews the research—to the extent that it exists—that supports the goals of each policy. It identifies unresolved concerns about the implementation of each of the three policies and includes a review of the driving forces behind rapidly rising tuition. Its aim is to provide research-based evidence that can inform the policy debate around college affordability.


Policy Brief: Three Maryland Policies to Address College Affordability Concerns


High School Graduation Rates in Maryland (1.22.14)

High school graduation rates are one of the most important measures of the overall effectiveness of our school system. In this data brief we place the graduation rate of Maryland in a national context and show how Maryland is performing relative to its neighboring states. We also explore graduation rates at the district level and describe how school districts in Maryland are performing relative to how we would expect given the characteristics of the students enrolled in each district.


Data Brief: High School Graduation Rates in Maryland

High School Graduation Rates in Maryland Technical Appendix


The College Application Gauntlet: The Obstacles Presented by the Steps to College Enrollment

Daniel Klasik

Enrolling in college is harder than it might seem. While scholars have identified many factors associated with the development of college aspiration and final enrolent decisions, we know relatively little about the steps a student must take between aspiration and enrollment. In this policy brief, Dr. Klasik discusses the way these steps collectively present a complex labyrinth that students must navigate. He examines the rates at which students complete these steps and how various academic and social factors explain differential completion rates. He concludes with how policymakers can target some of these steps to smooth the path to college and how these actions affect students’ college choices.


The College Application Gauntlet: The Obstacles Presented by the Steps to College Enrollment

You can view the presentation here.