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Weekly Rundown
October 8, 2021
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From Bloomberg Wealth:
Big Endowment Returns Pressure U.S. Colleges to Boost Spending
By Janet Lorin
U.S. colleges are facing increased pressure to spend more on financial aid and salaries after their endowments posted some of the strongest returns in decades last year. The share of low-income students who receive Pell Grants was 16% last year, up from 6% in 2013-14. With the increased need for financial aid and the unexpected influx of available endowment spending, many higher ed leaders are being more aggressive in taking advantage of unexpected increases in allowable endowment spending to meet pressing needs. Read this article
From Times Higher Education:
How would universities fare in a new Cold War?
By Simon Baker
Experts argue that the events of the past 10 years, like BREXIT and the US-China tense relationships, have shown how vital it is for leaders of international universities to think the unthinkable about what they may face in the future.  Geopolitics should never be far from their minds. It is important for universities to continue seeking ties with international institutions, irrespective of local politics, to maintain transnational relationships. Read this article
From Knowable Magazine:
Now is the time to prepare for the economic shocks of battling climate change
By Eryn Brown

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels is key to moving from a carbon-intensive present to a greener future. Smart planning and transparent policymaking can ease the transition and reduce the most serious financial risks.  Investors and companies may be stuck with stranded assets when reliance ultimately shifts to renewables, which is likely to cause shockwaves through the global economy. Investors have not been properly planning for the climate risks ahead, and it would be in their best interest to act sooner rather than later. Read this article

From EdSurge:
Community Colleges Must Chart a Course Toward Technology and Workplace Innovation
By Mordecai I. Brownlee
The pandemic has seen higher education enrollment fall dramatically, and community colleges were hit the hardest with persistence rates dropping to 58.5%, the largest decline in all higher education institutional sectors.  It is important for community colleges to invest in ed tech, continue offering remote learning opportunities, and better understand the needs of their local communities and industries. Read this article
Further Reading
From Association of American Colleges & Universities:
Is College Worth the Time and Money?
By Ashley Finley, Mariette Aborn, Sean Ruddy, & Kein Miller
According to this report from the AACU, one’s viewpoint on the value of higher education is seemingly dependent on political party.  With 33% of adult Democrats reporting a college degree is definitely worth it today (vs. 24% Republican adults) and 21% reporting it is not (vs. 35% Republicans), the divide is evident.  Similar disparities are seen when asked if fostering a sense of social justice (45% Democrats vs. 19% Republicans) or exposure to STEM (39% Democrats vs. 25% Republicans) is important for long-term career success. Read this article
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