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

The Grade Inflation Funding Model

I read Tom Lindsay’s Real Clear Politics article on how graduation rates can be a poor measure of colleges, and it was dead on the money. I especially appreciated his criticism of “outcomes-based funding models.” We at the Pope Center have been wrestling against a similar “Performance-based Funding Model” (to access the proposed model, follow […]

Pay As You Earn Burns Taxpayers

The Obama administration has been touting new regulations on student lending that it argues could help borrowers “lower their monthly federal student loan bills.” The Department of Education’s website details changes to the income-based repayment option, which the administration argues will lessen the financial burden of attending college. Under income-based repayment, monthly loan payments are […]

Graduating to Mediocrity?

From RealClearPolitics, January 16, 2013 Raising College Graduation Rates Isn’t Enough By Thomas Lindsay Imagine this: A study shows that America’s automotive industry is producing cars that are defective in 36 percent of cases. How does the industry respond to the crisis? By announcing an initiative to build still more of said clunkers, but faster […]

Devaluation? Bubble? Surely You Jest!

A recent post in the New York Times points to the downward trend of the profitability of newly-minted M.B.A.s in today’s job market. The reasoning for this is easy enough to understand: with the economic downturn of 2008-09, more and more recent college grads sought refuge in the halls of academia, as recent grads are […]

Texas poised to become national model for higher-ed reform

 (This article appeared in the January 12 Austin American-Statesman) By Thomas K. Lindsay, director the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In higher education, Texas’ struggles are America’s struggles. At the same time, the 83rd Legislature can make Texas’ solutions America’s solutions. Texas is well-placed to build on existing strengths relative […]

Give Parents a Head Start on Saving for College

I’ve often argued that public policy should encourage and reward parents, who, after all, contribute mightily to the common good by producing and maintaining human capital. Parents face countless challenges on the journey, as they worry about their children’s health and safety, education, moral formation, and much more. As a father with one child in […]


In his State of the University Address in September 2005, departing UT-Austin President Larry Faulkner had this advice for his successor: “Your greatest challenge will be to work out a new, stable financial model for the long-term sustenance of the university. For decades, we have been drifting away from a model built on public higher […]

Please Tighten Your Seat Belts

Two recent articles underscore the uncertainty about the future of higher education. In “The End of the University as We Know It,” Nathan Harden (author of “Sex and God at Yale”) describes how online courses and other innovations will force radical change in higher education. He thinks it will enable an enormous number of future […]

On the Unsustainability of the United States: Epilogue

A few days ago in the Wall Street Journal, the “Notable & Quotable” section excerpted several passages from a book written by the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. Three sentences caught my attention.  They point, I believe, in the direction of answering the question posed in my previous post: Why did college administrators and trustees […]

The Texas Model of Higher Ed Reform Spreading to California?

As Texas goes, so goes the country. (From the Chronicle of Higher Education): $10,000 Bachelor’s Degree Is Proposed in California Legislation By Eric Kelderman A California state legislator is the latest elected official to push for public colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees at bargain-basement prices. . . . The legislation in California follows similar suggestions […]