Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grow old along with me

The best is yet to be, unless you live in West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky and Indiana. I had the opportunity to grow old in one of the top five and passed on it. Haven't looked back. From CBS MoneyWatch.

The 5 best and worst states to grow old in
Everyone ages, but how a person copes with the health challenges that come with old age can depend on many factors, including where they live. 
It turns out that some states offer better options for elder care than others, after calculating the costs of in-home care, assisted living centers or nursing homes, as well as quality of care, according to a new study from Caring.com. While warm states such as Florida and Arizona exert strong pulls on retirees, the best states to grow old in tend to be colder ones, the research found. 
While the study provides insights into the cost and quality of elder care across the U.S., it's meant to spark a discussion among families rather than suggest that retirees head for the top-ranked states or move out of the lowest-ranked ones, said Dayna Steele, Caring.com's Chief Caring Expert and the author of "Surviving Alzheimer's with Friends, Facebook and a Really Big Glass of Wine." Many Americans are under the misapprehension that assisted living costs are covered by health insurance or Medicare, and aren't adequately planning for elder-care expenses that can be startlingly large, she noted. 
"So many people think that if you need to go into assisted living that it will be covered, but unless you have long-term care insurance, it's not covered," Steele said. "This will be the next financial disaster in the country as the Baby Boomers age into elder care. We're going to see families just devastated by this. You have to take care of them, you have to work, so what will you do with mom and dad if you don't have long-term care insurance or $5,000 to $6,000 a month to spend."

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

And here's a small college

Trying to reopen and reinvent itself. I remember Tarkio from when I worked in Missouri. It's been operating since 2012 as a continuing education center. From The Daily Nonpareil.

Tarkio College works to reopen as two-year institution
An application for Tarkio College to reopen as a two-year institute of higher learning has been submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education. 
Tarkio College had operated in northwest Missouri – about a 30-minute drive from Hamburg or Shenandoah – in Tarkio, Missouri, from 1883 to 1992, according to the city. 
Robert Hughes, a graduate and now president of the college, said the reopening was made possible after the college property was donated to its alumni association. Tarkio College currently operates as a center for professional continuing education. 
“Twenty-nine acres of the campus itself and 11 buildings were gifted to the Tarkio College Alumni Association by Heartland Educational Institute that inherited the land when the college ceased operating in 1992,” Hughes said. 
The college closed, according to a 1991 New York Times story, after earning the distinction of holding the highest loan default rate in the United States. The liberal arts college ended up owing more than $22 million to the federal government after dealing loans and grants to ineligible students. 
Two pieces of property – the gymnasium and Woodruff Apartments – were not included in the gift to the alumni association, Hughes said. The gym was converted to a community fitness center and the apartments were in too much disrepair. 
“The Department of Higher Education will look at our assets when evaluating whether we are approved,” he said, adding that having debt-free building provides the college with stability. 
The initial goals of the alumni association, while waiting for state’s approval, are to renovate Rankin Hall and the Thompson Learning Library. Rankin Hall will be used as an administration building and for celebratory functions. The three-storied Thompson Learning Library will be used for classes. 
Hughes said a fundraising firm out of Kansas City has been hired to help raise funds for various improvements that need to be made to the campus.
If granted approval, Hughes said the college would like to begin offering classes as soon as possible. With a four-month application process, that could be as early as January 2017. 
“We are excited,” Hughes said.
Until the college is approved by the state, Hughes said it shouldn’t market itself. However, he said extensive studies have been done to see what was needed in the region. Fifty school districts within 60 miles of Tarkio were asked what their students needed for higher learning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trying to ban gender-neutral pronouns

And Sex Week at UT-Knoxville. Sigh. Seems like they just kind of threw in the sex week issue just because. From The Knoxville News Sentinel.

UT Diversity Office takes hit, as Gov. Haslam allows bill to become law diverting funds
Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the bill that diverts about $436,000 from the University of Tennessee's office of diversity and inclusion and into minority engineering scholarships during the next school year to become law without his signature on Friday. 
"This bill received considerable debate and discussion during legislative session, and the final form of HB 2248 was revised so that its primary effect is to redirect administrative funding for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion for one year into scholarships for minority engineering students. Although I do not like the precedent of redirecting funds within a higher education institution's budget, I find the ultimate outcome of the legislation less objectionable and am therefore letting it become law without my endorsement," Haslam said in a message to the Legislature. 
The governor's action comes a day after the University of Washington announced that it is hiring UT Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Rickey Hall, who has been at the center of controversy and calls to defund his office. He becomes Washington's vice president for the office of minority affairs and diversity and chief diversity officer. 
House Bill 2248: 
* Reallocates "all funds in the budget of the office of diversity and inclusion" at UT Knoxville for fiscal year 2016-17 into scholarships for minority students in engineering programs. That budget contained about $436,000 in the 2015-16 school year. The UT Board of Trustees has not yet approved budgets for 2016-17. 
* Bans UT from spending state funds "to promote the use of gender-neutral pronouns, to promote or inhibit the celebration of religious holidays, or to fund or support sex week," most of which had already occurred. 
The bill has a dual set of roots, one growing out of four years of student-sponsored "Sex Week" activities on the Knoxville campus and the other from a newsletter and a web posting by the diversity office last year. 
Republican lawmakers denounced the first Sex Week in 2013, a wide-ranging set of events, programs and discussion panels — some with salacious titles — on sexuality, preventing sexual assaults and sexually transmitted diseases and other topics, including sexual abstinence. The statehouse outcry prompted UT to pull any state funding from the event, which was mostly funded with student activities fees and donations.

Monday, May 23, 2016

More on Kentucky higher education

Cutbacks. Oh, yeah, and outsourcing maintenance at Western Kentucky. From Kentucky.Com.

Layoffs, furloughs and hiring freezes at Kentucky’s universities
Eastern Kentucky University just enacted a hiring freeze. Kentucky’s community college system has started laying off workers. Morehead State University put all its employees on an unpaid furlough. 
All over the state, public universities have started what’s become a biennial rite of belt-tightening in the face of state budget cuts and increased fixed costs for pensions and health insurance. 
Certainly, the state cuts turned out to be less severe than expected. When Gov. Matt Bevin first released his proposed budget, higher education faced a 4.5 percent cut in the current year, and 9 percent in the next two. Compromises lowered those to 2 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. But eight years of cuts and increases in costs will leave many campuses little choice but to make some drastic changes, said Robert King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. 
“The presidents anticipate laying off hundreds of people and shutting down programs,” over the next few years, King said. “As they have in the past, they will have to figure out how to bridge the gap between the combined impact of cuts, new pensions costs and health insurance.” 
This week, the council set caps on how much schools can raise tuition, but even if schools choose the maximum increase they will still need to trim a combined $64.8 million in spending, King said.
Schools will finalize their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, in coming weeks, but some have already begun announcing cutbacks. 
Others, such as the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Kentucky State University, are remaining mum. 
KSU was exempted from the cuts after officials warned they might cause the school to close its doors. UK and U of L officials declined to provide budget details ahead of upcoming board meetings, but both schools can raise tuition by no more than 5 percent. 
At the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, a 6.1 percent tuition increase will generate $11.7 million, but increased costs mean it still must close a $28 million gap. 
“Over the last year, KCTCS has tightened its belt to the point there are no notches left,” said spokeswoman Terri Giltner. “This revenue shortfall has led to some tough decisions, including staff reductions, program elimination and now a tuition increase for our students.” 
Giltner said she didn’t yet know the full extent of faculty and staff reductions. 
At Western Kentucky University, the school faces a $6 million hole, even after a 4.5 percent tuition increase. The school’s contribution to the Kentucky Employee Retirement System has jumped 48 percent from the prior year to $1.9 million. 
Still, President Gary Ransdell said the school is committed to a 3 percent employee raise. 
To cope, Ransdell is reorganizing the university’s administration, and said the school will look at programs that need to be “consolidated, reduced or eliminated.” In a move that will save an estimated $700,000, employees of the Building Services and Grounds Department will become employees of Sodexo, a private management company, according to the College Heights Herald.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tales of the nontraditional

Homeless but graduating. Did not major in home economics. From MLive.

For inspirational homeless EMU student, graduation day
The doors of the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center opened at 7 a.m. Sunday, and by 8, cars were bumper-to-bumper along Hewitt Road trying to squeeze into crowded parking lots. Fathers in suits carried cameras and mothers cradled bouquets. 
Two miles away, Ramone Williams walked alone out of an apartment carrying a backpack. Just a few months ago, that backpack had held much of the 26-year-old's possessions – a few changes of clothes, a can of Chunky soup, bags of tea. 
Sunday, the backpack held a cap and gown. 
Until a few months ago Williams was homeless, a college senior at Eastern Michigan who had enough money for college tuition or a home, but not both. He attended classes by day, and slept in his 2007 Grand Caravan at night. When the weather turned cold, he slept in the EMU library and showered in the student recreational facility. 
Sunday, Williams walked across campus for the last time, arriving at the Convocation Center just in time for the graduation ceremony, where he received a bachelor's degree in communication media and theatre arts. It was a long walk on streets that had worn out several pairs of sneakers, part of an even longer journey for a young man too stubborn to quit. 
"I sacrificed a lot to get here," Williams said. "It's worth it."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why would anyone go into significant debt to get a doctorate?

Of course, it would appear that most students don't graduate with a doctorate and deep debt. It reminds me of the debt loads of students who choose to go to expensive, private colleges instead of choosing less expensive options. It's not necessarily higher education's fault that his or her debt is so high. Still, I've always said to never pursue a graduate degree in the humanities or education without some sort of assistantship or other financial support from the institution. Or, attend part-time when you already have a job in the field and need the degree for advancement. From The Atlantic.

The Ever-Tightening Job Market for Ph.D.s
Liquid courage is a necessity when examining the data on Ph.D.s in the latest NSF report, “The Survey of Earned Doctorates,” which utilized figures from the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center. The report finds that many newly minted Ph.D.s complete school after nearly 10 years of studies with significant debt and without the promise of a job. Yet few people seem to be paying attention to these findings; graduate programs are producing more Ph.D.s than ever before. 
Getting a Ph.D. has always been a long haul. Despite calls for reform, the time spent in graduate programs hasn’t declined significantly in the past decade. In 2014, students spent eight years on average in graduate school programs to earn a Ph.D. in the social sciences, for example. It takes nine years to get one in the humanities, seven for science fields and engineering, and 12 for education, according to NSF. In other words, Ph.D.s are typically nearing or in their 30s by the time they begin their careers. Many of their friends have probably already banked a decade’s worth of retirement money in a 401K account; some may have already put a down payment on a small town house.

While most doctoral students rely primarily on some combination of grants, teaching assistantships, and research positions to cover tuition and living expenses, they also often use personal savings, spouses’ earnings, and student loans. Consequently, more than 12 percent of all Ph.D.s complete their doctoral programs with over $70,000 of combined undergraduate and graduate student-loan debt. Rates are especially high in the social sciences and education. Those debt levels are alarming, especially because fewer students have jobs lined up immediately after graduation than was the case 10 years ago.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Save the date!

ACHE South Annual Conference
Peabody Hotel
Memphis, Tennessee
April 11-13, 2017

Monday, May 16, 2016

One of the consequences of college getting more and more expensive

Fewer poor people can attend and complete. This especially impacts adult students who, in addition to limited funds and access to financial aid outside of loans, have family, work, and time constraints as well. From The Atlantic.

The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap
The nation’s colleges continue to graduate far fewer students who grew up in poor households. With the country’s economic potential possibly hanging in the balance, a new report urges the United States to dedicate more resources and know-how to closing the college-completion gap between wealthier students and those from low-income backgrounds. 
The issue boils down to the number of college-educated workers that will be needed to fill the bulk of the country’s new jobs—two-thirds of which will require some college background by 2020—and the dearth of college degrees held by lower-income workers. With well-paying jobs in manufacturing and the trades largely a relic of the nation’s industrial past, the middle-class pathways for workers with just a high-school education are few and far between. The basic arithmetic underscoring America’s labor needs points to a possible future in which the poor are unable to take full part in the nation’s economy, creating great social and economic strain.
Among the report’s findings: When American households are organized into four income groups, 24-year-olds from the top two groups accounted for 77 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014. In 1970, that figure was 72 percent, suggesting that growing up in a wealthier household matters even more now in completing a degree than it did four decades ago. Graduates who hailed from households with incomes of at least $116,000—the top quarter—represented more than half of all the degrees awarded in 2014 among 24-year-olds. Students from households that earned less than $35,000—the lowest quarter—represented just 10 percent of all the degrees awarded. The report, which relied on U.S. Census and other data sources, was released by scholars at the University of Pennsylvania, Council for Opportunity in Education, and the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th


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Thursday, May 12, 2016

The rest of us can tap into his unused social security

Fifty years and counting. Bless his heart. From The Chicago Sun-Times.

University of Illinois prof for 50 years plans to keep teaching
Roy Axford has been a professor at the University of Illinois for 50 years, and he has no plans to stop. 
The 87-year-old Axford works in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering. He was honored Thursday. 
Axford said that the tradition in his family is to work for a lifetime. 
He continues to teach a full load of classes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tales of the nontraditional

Earning the doctorate in retirement. I had a student who was earning her Ed.D. in her retirement. She was a joy to work with. From The New York Times.

Now 61, Mr. Hevey is making up for lost time. He’s a second-year Ph.D. student in a plant biology and conservation program offered jointly by Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Mr. Hevey, whose work focuses on invasive species, started on his master’s at age 53, and he expects to finish his doctorate around five years from now, when he will be 66. 
“When I walk into a classroom of 20-year-olds, I do raise the average age a bit,” he says. 
While the overall age of Ph.D. candidates has dropped in the last decade, about 14 percent of all doctoral recipients are over age 40, according to the National Science Foundation. Relatively few students work on Ph.D.s at Mr. Hevey’s age, but educators are seeing increasing enrollment in doctoral programs by students in their 40s and 50s. Many candidates hope doctorates will help them advance careers in business, government and nonprofit organizations; some, like Mr. Hevey, are headed for academic research or teaching positions. 
At Cornell University, the trend is driven by women. The number of new female doctoral students age 36 or older was 44 percent higher last year than in 2009, according to Barbara Knuth, senior vice provost and dean of the graduate school. 
“One of the shifts nationally is more emphasis on career paths that call for a Ph.D.,” Dr. Knuth said. “Part of it is that we have much more fluidity in career paths. It’s unusual for people to hold the same job for many years.” 
“The people we see coming back have a variety of reasons,” she added. “It could be a personal interest or for career advancement. But they are very pragmatic and resilient: strong thinkers, willing to ask questions and take a risk in their lives.” 
Many older doctoral candidates are motivated by a search for meaning, said Katrina Rogers, president of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., which offers programs exclusively for adult learners in psychology, human and organizational development and education.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

College reimbursement programs

Despite what the article says about 60% of companies offering tuition assistance, it feels like it's much less common than that. Not like it used to be. On the other hand, maybe that's just around here. From The Atlantic.

Can a corporation do right by its workers and boost its bottom line? 
A welter of companies have in the past few years made big media splashes about their programs to underwrite the college educations of their workers. While Starbucks, JetBlue, and Fiat-Chrysler are some of the largest to announce their postsecondary plans for employees, the benefit exists at roughly 60 percent of all U.S. companies. 
Far less common is an employer evaluating whether its creel of college perks actually benefits the company. A new analysis did just that, and the results suggest that bosses can get serious mileage out of their workers even after spending up to $12,000 annually per employee on their college educations. Though the report focuses on one company, its findings may tamp down suspicions that the recent spate of company offerings are in effect feel-good PR strategies with limited benefits. 
Cigna, the health-care giant that posted $38 billion in revenues for 2015, generated a return on investment of 129 percent for its more than 2,200 workers who took advantage of the company’s education-reimbursement program from 2012 to 2014. Employees pursuing a bachelor’s or less received an allowance of $5,250 per year, while those seeking a master’s degree received $8,000. The number crunching, conducted by the Lumina Foundation and the business-consulting firm Accenture, shows that for each dollar spent on their employees, Cigna gained back that dollar and saved another $1.29 in talent-management costs. 
Workers gained big, too. The analysis found that entry-level and mid-management employees saw their wages grow by 43 percent over the three-year period compared to colleagues who didn’t take part in Cigna’s education-reimbursement program. The wages of participating entry-level workers alone grew by 57 percent, based on an examination of roughly 200 similar workers who did and didn’t take part in the tuition program. Overall, the number of promotions rose by 10 percent and that of internal transfers by 7.5 percent for all employees irrespective of skill and rank, compared to the non-participating employees. Crucially, turnover declined by 8 percent, which on its own may lead to major savings. Workforce churn can cost up to 200 percent of the annual salary of the outgoing worker, a 2008 study estimated. In addition to expanding their educations at a discount, Cigna also reimbursed workers for fees associated with applications, course registration, exams, and graduation.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Making America great again

Through higher education. This strategy could prove beneficial to community colleges. From Pacific Standard.

What Happened to the American Dream?
Now that we’ve gotten ourselves into this mess, how should we go about getting out of it? 
Contrary to the rhetoric of Trump and Sanders, reneging on our trade deals and returning the U.S. to a protectionist society is wildly unrealistic and would likely provoke economically and diplomatically damaging retaliation from other countries. 
While improving America’s education system may not reduce upper-tail inequality, it nonetheless does still have the potential to increase worker’s earnings and well-being. Economists have found enormous returns to teacher quality, and college graduates still earn more than high school graduates by a fairly large margin. It’s also no doubt time to think more creatively about post-secondary education. 
“I think we need to think about the skill sets that allow people to do evolving jobs in health care, in technical positions, many of which require real skill sets, but they don’t require a four-year liberal arts training,” Autor said at the Hamilton Project panel last year. “So I think we push too many people toward expensive four-year degrees which either are not as efficient as they could be, or not as appealing as they could be. There are opportunities in … these kind of new middle-school occupations.” 
Melissa Kearney, an economics professor at the University of Maryland who studies poverty and inequality, points out that education will likely need to be ongoing in the future. She cites the need for on-the-job training and more agile institutions of higher learning. “The labor market and the nature of jobs will likely evolve very rapidly,” she says. “Will people adapt quickly enough? What we really need to be thinking about is how to educate people while also fostering adaptability.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Not much better in Kentucky

Where the governor is trying to prop up pension shortfalls with higher education reductions. Our colleagues from Morehead State University have already had furloughs. From Kentucky.com.

Bevin will set aside $18 million until court rules on university cuts
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear agreed Thursday to a proposal by Gov. Matt Bevin’s general counsel to set aside about $18 million that would have gone to Kentucky’s universities and colleges until a judge rules on the legality of Bevin’s decision to cut their budgets midyear. 
Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said he would sign the agreement between Bevin and Beshear, who is challenging Bevin’s authority to make the cuts. Bevin’s attorney, Steve Pitt, said the document should be ready early next week. 
Beshear said the agreement is “a very favorable interim step.” Pitt called it “a good recommendation.” 
The agreement meant that Wingate did not make a ruling on the immediate injunction Beshear had sought, which would have forced Bevin to release the money. 
In late March, Bevin had cut state spending for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, by $41 million for colleges and universities. Bevin said the money would be used to aid the state’s cash-strapped public pension programs. 
On Wednesday, Bevin reduced his 4.5 percent mid-year budget cut for universities to 2 percent, releasing more than $23 million to public colleges and universities. He eliminated the budget cut entirely for Kentucky State University, which had warned that it might have to close. 
Beshear said he was pleased that Bevin will set aside the money until Wingate answers the question of whether Bevin had the legal authority to make midyear cuts even though there is no revenue shortfall.
Wingate said he would rule on that question in a few weeks. 
During the court hearing, Pitt argued that Beshear’s lawsuit is premature. He said there are about 10 weeks left in this fiscal year.
“We don’t know what the governor is going to do,” he said. 
Pitt also said that all university presidents except KSU President Raymond Burse had agreed to a 2 percent cut this fiscal year, if it is determined to be legal. 
Beshear told reporters after the hearing that it would set “a dangerous precedent” if a governor could make cuts in a state budget that the legislature already has enacted without any shortfall in state revenue.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tough times for higher education

In Oklahoma. The impact has a ripple effect on ACHE, since the home office is at OU. From NewsOK.

Ongoing higher education budget cuts called 'morally wrong,' 'not smart'
Continuing to cut funding for higher education is counterproductive to economic development in Oklahoma, the presidents of the state's two largest universities said Thursday. 
They were among several college presidents who addressed the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education about the funding crisis facing their institutions. 
Presidents said they are angry, frustrated and disheartened that higher education continues to fall short when it comes to state funding. 
After listening to the presidents, the regents approved revised budgets for Oklahoma's 25 public colleges and universities to reflect the 9.5 percent cut in revenue from the original allocations approved in May.

“The cuts (systemwide) this year have been $112 million. The projections could be more than that for next year,” Chancellor Glen Johnson said. 
Institutions have absorbed the funding reductions by cutting faculty and staff, courses, degree programs, students services and athletic programs. 
“We're not doing that without a very negative impact on our colleges and universities, and quite frankly on our academic programs and our students," Johnson said. 
President Burns Hargis said Oklahoma State University brings $340 million from outside Oklahoma into the state's economy each year, yet OSU's funding is cut while businesses that bring in fewer dollars are given tax credits and incentives. 
"When you start these cuts, you're beginning to cut into the very kind of thing you're looking for in Oklahoma, which is more economic development," Hargis said. 
More Coverage: Read all the recent Education articles
"Higher education is a critical part," he said. "When you cut courses, when you cut sections, when you cut faculty, you're cutting the revenue that those efforts are earning. It's just not smart." 
University of Oklahoma President David Boren said the state "is last in the nation in what we're spending per student to educate the next generation." 
“It's morally wrong. We can't afford to put up with it," Boren said. 
Forty years ago, the state provided about half of the cost per student for college, but today it's about 12 percent, he said. Meanwhile, tuition and fees paid by students and their families has grown. 
"We are harming the possibilities for the next generation in the state. We are harming economic development," Boren said.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Job hunting after commencement?

Looks like a better job market this year for college graduates. From The Huffington Post.

For the class of 2016, it’s the best job market in years. The number of employers looking to hire college graduates this year is the highest in nearly a decade, according to a survey out Thursday. 
But if you’re a male college graduate, your job prospects are even better. Fresh out of college, men far outstrip women when it comes to wages. 
Male college graduates, ages 20 to 24, earned 8 percent more in 2016 than they did in 2000. 
Meanwhile, their female counterparts made nearly 7 percent less than they did in 2000, according to a different report released Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute. The average male college graduate was making $20.94 an hour; the average woman made $16.58, according to EPI’s research. 
The culprit? Wages are rising fast for men at the very top of the college pyramid, while pay is basically flat for the rest of us, the researchers say.

“Growing inequality among grads is pulling up the average wage for men and contributing to the gender wage gap,” Elise Gould, a senior economist at EPI who coauthored the study, told The Huffington Post.
In the U.S., men on average make more than women — at every income level — for a variety of reasons, including discrimination, job and college major choice, and work experience. The EPI data pinpoints a new culprit — rising income inequality is pushing men and women’s wages apart. Indeed, the gender wage gap is highest for the highest-earning Americans. 
Female college graduates earn 79 cents on the male dollar, according to EPI. The pay gap is narrower for women with only a high-school education — 92 cents on the dollar. In fact, female high school graduates, ages 17 to 20, who aren’t enrolled in college, saw wages rise by 1.6 percent since 2000. Their male counterparts’ wages fell over that period by 5.7 percent. EPI attributes this group of women’s wage growth to increases in the minimum wage passed in some states and cities — which disproportionately affected low-income women who are more likely to work at the wage floor.