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Jeffrey  Selingo

Jeffrey Selingo

Washington Post Columnist & Author


Jeff Selingo is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, College (Un)Bound and There Is Life After College. For more than twenty years, he has provided insight and practical advice to students, parents, educators, and academic leaders about the inner workings of colleges and universities and what’s next for higher education. Read More >

Jeff’s third book, Who Gets In & Why: A Year Inside College Admissions, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September 2020. It takes readers on a journey from the inside of admissions offices, revealing what really matters in the selection process and how ultimately decisions are based a college’s agenda and its priorities rather than the quality of applicants.

As both an observer of higher education and an insider with academic appointments at two universities, Jeff occupies a unique position to explain higher education’s critical and influential role in the world economy. He writes regularly for The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education and is co-host of the podcast, FUTURE U. In addition to college admissions, his reporting and research focuses on the future of work and its impact on lifelong learning, paying for college, the financial sustainability of traditional higher education, and what employers and the public increasingly want in a college degree.

Jeff is a special advisor for innovation to the president at Arizona State University, where he founded and directs the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership. He is a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. Jeff also works with universities and corporations on their innovation strategy and storytelling.

Before his first book in 2013, Jeff was the top editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, where he was responsible for operations and strategy for the largest division of the company and managed a newsroom of more than 60 reporters and editors and a dozen foreign correspondents. His work has been honored with awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Associated Press. He sits on the Board of Trustees at Ithaca College in New York.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca and a master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Washington, D.C. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The Value of a College Degree

Life After College

College (Un)Bound

The Learning House

The Future of Higher Education

Speech Topics

There Is Life After College: Making the Most of the Undergraduate Years for Success in Life

It’s not good enough anymore to simply gain admission to college and then roll into the job market a few years later. How students go to college—the undergraduate experiences they take advantage of on campuses—matters to how they launch into the job market. Based on research from his New York Times bestselling book and a national survey of twentysomethings, the audience will learn the three primary ways today’s graduates launch from college and how their experiences come to shape the beginning of their careers. This talk is aimed at college leaders, school counselors, employers as well as students and their parents. Among other things, the audience will: Read More >

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  • Gain insight into how young adults can better navigate the route from high school through college and into the economy where the world of work and jobs are changing.
  • Discover the fundamental experiences in and out of school that shape success in the job market today.
  • Learn the skills that prove most helpful, and why some students prosper, while others fail.
  • Hear a hopeful, inspiring blueprint to help alleviate anxiety about preparing for life after college.

2027: The Decade Ahead for Higher Education

What changes are in store for higher education over the next decade? It’s a question being asked by college leaders, faculty members, policy makers, and of course, students and parents. Higher education is on the cusp of far-reaching changes over the next decade where technology is playing a larger role and students, parents, and educators alike are asking what colleges should teach and how learning should be measured in an era of shifting needs in the economy. Drawing on research from his bestselling book, College (Un)Bound, and a follow-up report he authored for The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2016, the audience for this talk includes college leaders, faculty members, policymakers, and high-school administrators. Among their key takeaways: Read More >

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  • Discover the attributes of a new era of higher education, how it differs from the past, and what it means for the future of colleges and universities.
  • Learn about the students of the next decade, and hear about the demographic changes coming to campuses.
  • Hear about the numerous learning pathways that students might follow ten years from now and the credentials they’ll receive from that learning.
  • Understand the role technology will play and the value of the physical campus.