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Stats Watch

With Latinos now representing one in six U.S. residents, the international competitiveness of the nation will depend on the academic success of Latino students, notes the opening of a recent College Board report on Latino college completion. Although the national average of 25- to 34-year-olds in 2009 who had attained an associate degree or higher was 41 percent, just 19 percent of Latinos had done so.

Both employers and employees struggle with health insurance costs. While most people think of doctors' visits when they think of health insurance, mental health and substance abuse treatment fall under the same umbrella. A recent study by a group of Harvard researchers from the Cambridge Health Alliance, found treatment coverage for medical school students is on the low end of the scale. Of the 115 med schools analyzed, fewer than 22 percent provide students with complete coverage, without co-pays or coinsurance, for mental health and substance abuse treatment.


Rare is the college or university that benefited from generous state funding in the first half of this decade. But for the first time since before the September 11 attacks and the dot-com bust of 2001, enough public dollars are flowing into IHE coffers to exceed the effects of booming enrollment growth and inflation.

There is a new weapon in the ongoing attempt to understand the young people lurking around, or who have just left campus. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has released a new survey charting the views of "Generation Next," those in the age range of 18 to 25. They are money hungry, relatively happy, and plugged into technology.

A new report suggests that if hidden campus costs are not carefully tracked, they could lead to dire straits for institutions of higher education.

Traditional-age students taking classes on campus are hardly the only ones interacting with faculty, having enriching educational experiences, and engaging in reflective learning. In fact, these are three activities in which distance ed students have reported significantly higher participation compared with traditional campus-based learners. This was one finding of the 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement, which included nearly 260,000 first-year and senior students attending 523 U.S.

Good benefits are part of any attractive employee package, but they are getting harder to provide. (See "Human Resources" column, page 27.) The College & University Professional Association for Human Resources has issued its fourth annual survey of member organizations and the top-line findings show that health care benefits are costing more for colleges and universities. A full 81 percent of respondents report that health-care and dental costs have gone up. The median increase in costs is 9 percent.

"We're number one" was once an accurate claim among U.S. education leaders. That is clearly no longer the case, according to "Measuring Up 2006: The National Report Card on Higher Education," released this fall from The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.