Goldie Blumenstyk, senior writer in The Chronicle of Higher Education is a respected expert on the business of higher education and higher-education policy (Blumenstyk). Known for her 25 years of reporting, Goldie Blumenstyk is recognized for winning multiple awards from the Education Writers Association. She is also known for contributing to The New York Times, OUPblog, EDUCAUSE Review, and USA Today. Goldie Blumenstyk is an important key figure in the history of American higher education because she explains how higher education is causing different demands for students and professors. Her book, American higher education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know, is organized around questions someone might ask how higher education in American is shaped (Kevin).
Blumenstyk focuses on the values of higher education in America, higher education affordability and demographic trends in American education. she evaluated these problems by writing her book, many articles, visiting universities and attending many higher education interviews and talk-shows. Through these experiences she gained valuable insight and was therefore able to raise awareness of how American higher education is in trouble and how they can be rectified. Blumenstyk argues that higher education at this moment is in crisis; however, there are many ways to prevent these issues from permanently fracturing our education system (which she even puts into question if it’s even worth remedy.)
In 2012, a journal article, A Former Insider Questions the Morality of a For-Profit College, in One Act written by Goldie Blumenstyk focused on how for-profit colleges target minorities with financial difficulties. According to the article, of the two million students pursuing higher education in the United States, more than 40 percent are at community colleges and for-profit institutions (Boneva). In her article, we also see Blumenstyk expressing the “guilt” admission counselors at for-profit colleges feel towards their students stating, “For-profit at what cost?” (Blumenstyk). Blumenstyk does not necessarily tell us a solutions on what to do with for-profit colleges; however, she leaves us to think how students that attend for-profit colleges may affect their chances of managing their student-loan debts in short period of time and finding jobs they signed up for hoping they mastered their degree, and earning an accepted credentials that can transfer them to different universities (Blumenstyk).
In 2015, an academic review of Goldie Blumestyk’s book, American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know, illustrates the different aspects of how American higher education needs improvement. Blumenstyk mainly talked about three specific reasons why American higher education turned out the way it is now. Blumenstyk first talked about the price of American higher education and how education finances have changed over the past couple of decades. Blumenstyk emphasizes that postsecondary education instead of focusing on striving students for the better, it has transformed into a profit “Higher education is a big business” (Blumenstyk43). Blumenstyk states from 1969 through 2012, higher education spending annually increased by an average of “7 percent” (Blumenstyk 43). Blumenstyk alongside explained the main sources for colleges and universities revenues are from tuitions and endowments.
Blumestyk’s second argument was about student debts. Around 2011 the total amount of student debt reached $1-trillion, more than the total Americans borrowed for cars and the debt on their credit cards (Blumenstyk 60). Blumenstyk emphasizes that the cost of colleges created an ongoing debate in the economy. Blumenstyk additionally explains the effects school debt can cause for young adults’ ability to buy houses or even save for retirement later. Blumenstyk as well illustrated how for-profit students tend to be at risker position with school loan debts. For-profit college students borrow at higher rates (88 percent) than any student in public or private nonprofit colleges with an average debt of $39,950 (Blumenstyk 62).
Blumestyk’s third argument was about demographic trends in American higher education. The American student body is becoming more of minority groups (Hispanic and African-American). For instance, young Hispanic groups are the fastest growing demographic in the country covering 19% of college students from the age of eighteen to twenty-four years, however, they fall behind when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree (Blumenstyk 13). The enrollment of African-American students increased from 1976 to 2012 reaching almost three million, however, the increase as a percentage of the total student population was not a major change (Blumenstyk 14). According to the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), by 2020, minority students (African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders) will be account for 45 percent of high-school graduates. Even though, we see an increase of minorities groups in American higher education, Blumenstyk debates how the graduate rate from both high school and postsecondary education is declining instead of expanding.
In 2015, an interview with Goldie Blumestyk focused on explaining her book briefly. Blumenstyk explains how higher education is still worth it by stating how it affects individuals and the country’s economy overall. Blumenstyk discussed for the past 25 years she has been examining and reporting higher education, she has never seen American higher education at risk. Blumenstyk explained how college competitions can boost the universities cost. She talks about how community colleges are as well great alternative options for adult students that don’t have the time and money to obtain higher education.
In Blumestyk’s book, American higher education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know, she talks about the solutions that can contribute to making American higher education better. Blumenstyk mentioned organizations such as Opportunity Nation, Young Invincible, and Student Debt Crisis that have come together to replace or to decrease the problems. Blumenstyk additionally talked about MOOC’s. MOOC’s (massive open online courses) are open online courses that are available to thousands of universities students for free (Blumenstyk127). She also introduced us to new ideas of lowering college tuitions by mentioning ideas that took place but didn’t quite last as long such as the 529 College Saving Plans, Donation to College, Free-College the Hope and Lifelong Tax Credits plans. Blumenstyk also talked about the “badges” and “stackable credentials” and if they can reduce or replace the tuition for colleges/universities. Stating higher education is more of monopoly, Blumenstyk explained “badges” as a recognition for a students’ specific requirements or skills and use those skills to communicate with boarder audience. For example, earning patches by Boy and Girl Scouts or points earned by winning a video game. Foundations such as Gates and Mozilla are supporters of the badges. The badge movement as well has highlighted the need to better recognize educational credentials leading for promotions or higher pay.
Goldie Blumenstyk truly explains what higher educations should look like in America since she has been studying it for over 25 years now. Blumenstyk provide problem-solution scenarios about American higher education to cover all the issues from student, parent and professor perspectives. She has repeatedly reminded us how valuable higher education is for self-betterment and for the nation’s explaining how it improved many lives for better lifestyle conditions. Goldie Blumenstyk leaves us by stating, “In America higher education, future belongs to those kinds of choosers, to the institutions that take steps to ensure and demonstrate that what they offer and how they offer it makes a difference” (Blumenstyk151).
Blumenstyk’s LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
Blumenstyk’s website and interviews
Blumenstyk, Goldie. “A Former Insider Questions the Morality of a For-Profit College, in One Act.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 58, no. 32, Apr. 2012. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.gsu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mzh&AN=2012301172&site=eds-live&scope=site.
Blumenstyk, Goldie. American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford Univ. Press, 2015.
Bonevac, Daniel. “Crisis or Priceless?” Academic Questions, vol. 28, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 355–363. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s12129-015-9506-z.
GOLDIE BLUMENSTYK. “GOLDIE BLUMENSTYK.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, www.chronicle.com/article/Goldie-Blumenstyk/48523/.
Gotouniversity. “HIGHER EDUCATION TODAY – Goldie Blumenstyk.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 May 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgCzuKC2O04.
Kevin Kinser. American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know by Goldie Blumenstyk (Review). no. 4, 2015, p. 619. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1353/rhe.2015.0036.