See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

School for Scandal: How Universities Help Their Students Shop for Easy Classes

(Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a UT student requesting, for obvious reasons, anonymity. has confirmed that he is in fact a current UT student.) Some readers of the Austin-American Statesman were shocked to read that “approximately 43 percent of all college grades today are A’s, an increase of 28 percentage points since […]

Earth to Business: Wake Up!

There’s a widening disconnect between the world of work and what universities produce. According to the Center for College Affordability & Productivity almost half of all U.S. college graduates are in jobs that require less than a college degree. And surveys suggest that 60% of grads can’t find work in their field of study. Meanwhile, […]

Quality Before Quantity

It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that too many students are going to college. It may seem elitist, discriminatory, foolish, or just ignorant. The truth, however, is that easy money and easy grades have made it far too, well, easy to get into college. It is important to understand that every decision has a cost. […]


African Studies has been a hot topic in North Carolina for the last year or so, thanks to a football scandal that revealed unethical practices in UNC-Chapel Hill’s African and African American Studies department.  The spotlight caused an undercurrent of local commentary questioning whether there even needs to be such a department. Some national observers […]


Charles Murray is being his usual provocative self, this time with an essay for the Cato Institute entitled, “The Coming Collapse of the BA Bubble” (Cato’s Letter, Winter 2013), in which he contends that we have become so obsessed with the BA in its gateway function that it has created what he calls a “two-tiered […]

The Other Diversity Mania

When we hear talk about the “need” for greater “diversity” on American campuses, the speaker is almost always talking about racial/ethnic diversity – the assumption that some students are more “interesting” and will add more to the school just because of their ancestry. Sometimes, however, the individual has something else in mind, specifically “socio-economic” diversity. […]

Obama’s College Scorecard of Little Value to Families

During his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a new College Scorecard that he claimed “parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criterion: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.” The scorecard, which can be accessed via, provides information on the net price […]


It is not easy for outsiders to draft the concept of a legislative bill and get the bill introduced by a legislator.  It happened in our case.  Tom Lindsay and I created a Texas pilot codifying a simultaneous dual-enrollment partnership between a community college and a four-year school partner.  The bill would help low-income community-college […]

Informed-Student Push Continues

“U.S. and state officials are intensifying efforts to hold colleges accountable for what happens after graduation, a sign of frustration with sky-high tuition costs and student-loan debt,” Ruth Simon and Michael Corkery reported yesterday in a front-page story (“Push to Gauge Bang for Buck from College Gains Steam”) in The Wall Street Journal. Sens. Ron […]

Farmer Ethics and Paying for College

I did not watch the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, though I was soon thereafter made aware of the Dodge commercial featuring the late Paul Harvey and the long-lost American spirit. (Side note to ad-men: TRUTH SELLS.) It served as a personal reminder of how blessed I am to come from such a deep […]