AIR’s Dr. Rachel Dinkes joined panelists from academia, policymaking, and the U.S. higher education system to discuss who should foot the bill as postsecondary education expands in the United States.

This journal article explores whether community college websites are a useful medium for providing knowledge relevant to degree completion. The findings suggest that participants frequently encountered problems with finding and understanding information about degree selection and completion. The content analysis of these problems yields recommendations for improving the usability of community college websites for answering common questions about degree completion.

This journal article discusses a study that investigated the effect of the expanded availability of online curricula on persistence in the field and toward a degree. The findings suggest that for the average person, taking an online course has a negative effect on the probability of taking another course in the same field and on the probability of earning a degree.

This journal article discusses a study evaluating the effectiveness of math placement policies for entering community college students on these students' academic success in math. Researchers estimate the impact of placement decisions by using a discrete-time survival model within a regression discontinuity framework. The primary conclusion that emerges is that initial placement in a lower level course increases the time until a student at the margin completes the higher level course they were not assigned to by about a year on average, but in most cases, after this time period, the penalty was small and not statistically significant.


AIR’s Technology Solutions is modernizing the American Society for Engineering Education's (ASEE) survey system and providing the organization with a new and flexible reporting tool. The aim of these improvements is to create an appropriate, cost-effective solution that meets ASEE requirements for flexibility, user-friendliness, data analysis and reporting, and integration with other tools.

Researchers from AIR supported the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics in data collection efforts related to IPEDS. Specifically, AIR staff prepared IPEDS survey components, developed and maintained written work products, prepared reports, verified statistics, provided expertise on complex data structures and data systems, and participated in planning meetings related to the postsecondary administrative data collection.

AIR is analyzing 20 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 panel using an individual fixed-effects regression strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to estimate the returns to non-credit-bearing credential and licensure pathways compared with credit-bearing credential and associate degree programs that are unrelated to persistent differences in the respondents’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Findings show that credit-bearing credentials yield an approximately equal likelihood to be employed as noncredit-bearing credentials, but significantly improved earnings of about $7,000 a year.

AIR is testing whether Castleman and Page’s “Summer Melt” text messaging intervention increases college enrollment, persistence, and credential attainment among college-intending seniors at high-poverty high schools when implemented at scale in routine educational settings. This randomized controlled study aims to extend existing research on the intervention by studying its cost effectiveness, implementation, and impact on student enrollment and persistence patterns.

AIR is conducting a 3-year evaluation of 12 separate organizations selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Intermediaries for Scale. The goals of evaluation are to support the Foundation’s postsecondary strategy by better understanding the relationships between intermediary capabilities and institutional transformation.

The Delta Cost Project at AIR used quantitative descriptive analyses of patterns and trends to prepare two briefs. The aim of these briefs was twofold: (a) examine the academic workforce across different types of institutions and (b) explore the financial implications of changes to the higher education workforce.