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

A Bold Blend: Starbucks Will Now Pay for College for its Employees

Yesterday morning, Starbucks made news by announcing The College Achievement Plan, a partnership the coffee giant has entered into with Arizona State University (ASU) in order for the company to help employees complete their bachelor’s degrees by providing full tuition reimbursement. Freshmen and sophomores who work at least 20 hours per week can receive partial […]

The Six-Figure Salary Welder

If only someone had told me. That was likely the reaction of a good portion of Wall Street Journal readers yesterday when they came across Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s opinion piece Welders Make $150,000? Bring Back Shop Class. Mandel notes that shop classes are vanishing from American high schools (by 2012, Los Angeles had eliminated […]

Going Bold on Accreditation Reform

This past December, PayPal co-founded Peter Thiel put forward what he considered to be the chart of the year (pictured above: the ascending line is student-loan debt). Thiel’s selection for chart of the year illustrated why it is critically important that higher education move in the direction of credentialing courses and acquired skills, not institutions. In order […]

If You Like Obamacare, You’ll Love the Fed’s College Rating Proposal

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) showed some clear thinking on the Obama administration’s push for a federal college scorecard this week during a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing on accreditation as quality assurance. Libby Nelson at Politico reported: He [Harkin] said he was also concerned about programs within universities. What if one university […]


Last month Ivy Bridge College, a two-year online degree program,was ordered to discontinue operations. With the help of technology firm Altius Education, Ohio-based Tiffin College created Ivy Bridge in 2010 to deliver associate’s degrees to students. The Ivy Bridge partnership primarily served low-income working adults (69 percent are below the federal poverty line), for many […]

Student Loans: College Costs Will Continue to Rise

  Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would peg interest rates on federal student loans to Washington’s cost of borrowing (the Treasury rate) plus 2.05 percent. The bill also caps interest rates at 8.25 percent in the event they rise in the coming years. The House has praised the move, meaning it is […]

Federal Student Loans Cost Taxpayers Money

The Congressional Budget Office has just released an assessment of what the Federal Direct Student Loan program will cost taxpayers using various accounting measures. As has been noted before, any student loan proposal should encourage CBO to employ fair value accounting (FVA) to determine the cost of student loans. At the same time, the Department […]

Any Loan Proposal Must Incorporate Fair Value Accounting

Once again, Congress is considering what to do about the looming student loan interest rate hike. Last week, the House passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which would peg interest rates on federal Stafford loans to the high-yield 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent. For Parent Plus loans, the proposal pegs the interest rate […]

MOOCs are Worth the Hype

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently conducted a survey of professors who have taught Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and found that 79 felt that MOOCs “are worth the hype.” The Chronicle’s survey, which attempted to contact every professor who had ever taught a MOOC, received responses from 103 out of 184 professors.  he median […]