July 2010 Archives

To motivate kids to go to college and take a chunk out of the ever-increasing cost, high schools are coming up with innovative ways to help students get a jump-start on college coursework.


Students received more dollars in state aid to attend college last year, but it still wasn't enough to keep up with rising tuition costs and inflation. An annual survey by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (or NASSGAP) shows that states spent 2.7 percent more on financial aid in 2008-09 than the previous year. For need-based and non-need-based grant aid for undergraduates, states spent on average 5.6 percent more. Of the grant funds awarded last year, 72 percent was need-based and 28 percent was non-need-based, almost the same breakdown as seen in 2007-08. While ...


Twelfth place is not where the United States wants to be in the proportion of adults ages 25-34 with college degrees, compared with other industrialized nations. But that's where we are. If we are going to reach President Obama's goal to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, education leaders and policymakers need some help. Last week, a report by Grantmakers for Education highlighted barriers and best practices on campuses. Now, the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center has unveiled free new resources online. The College Completion Agenda 2010 Progress Report proposes 10 recommendations to boost ...


What's the secret formula to improve college graduation rates? A report released today by the Grantmakers for Education looks at the challenges and offers some ideas based on a gathering of funders, higher education leaders, researchers, and government officials in May. From Access to Success: A Funders Guide to Ensuring More Americans Earn Postsecondary Degrees discusses barriers to college completion. For students, many aren't adequately prepared academically. They also may not have enough information for a good college match and have difficulty navigating through the financial-aid system. At the institutional level, there is a general lack of emphasis on completion ...


College administrators and companies are figuring out how to meet new federal rules that require higher education institutions to provide a net price calculator on their websites.


College, Inc., a new FRONTLINE documentary about the exploding for-profit college sector, takes a fascinating look at the business approach to higher education.


The mission of high schools can no longer be to simply get students to graduate. Their expanded mission must be to ready students for careers and college—without the need for remediation. That was the message U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered today to the AP College Board's Annual Conference in Washington. "High schools must shift from being last-stop destinations for students on their education journey to being launching pads for further growth and lifelong learning," Duncan said, according to his prepared remarks provided by the U.S. Department of Education. He suggested that three widely-shared myths are ...


More people are defaulting on their student loans than estimates from the federal government have revealed, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle's research found that 20 percent of government loans since 1995 have gone into default. That number rises to nearly 31 percent for students who attended community colleges and 40 percent for those who attended for-profit institutions. This is considerably higher than the numbers the Department of Education released in May, showing a draft default rate on student loans at 7.2 percent in fiscal year 2008, up from 6.7 percent in ...


Community college leaders were already encouraged by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III's promise to get success in higher education on the political agenda. He didn't let them down yesterday as he officially became chair of the National Governors Association. Manchin made good on his promise, announcing that his chair's initiative would be Complete to Compete—an effort focused on increasing the number of students who complete college degrees and certificates from U.S. higher education institutions. His goal: Improve higher education degree attainment rates by 4 percent annually in each state. The United States has fallen from first to 12th...


On Wednesday, the National Education Association unveiled a new loan program for the union's members and their families to help pay for college and graduate school. The NEA Member Benefits Corp. and Sallie Mae have partnered to offer the NEA Smart Option Student Loan. The program features incentives to lower the cost of loans and interest rates that are at or below those of other major providers of private education loans. Unlike the common payment-deferred, 15-year term private education loan, the NEA program allows the borrower two options: 1) Make $25 fixed monthly payments while in school and for the ...


It's a lofty goal: to increase student-completion rates in community colleges by 50 percent over the next decade. Six national organizations representing the country's 1,200 community colleges, their governing boards, faculty, and students signed off on this joint vision in April and dubbed it "Democracy's Colleges Call to Action." Since then, the signers have been taking numerous steps to reach that goal. Their pledge to work together to change the institutional culture to emphasis access and success, as well as eliminate attainment gaps that separate students based on race, ethnicity, and income is needed more than ever. Although the ...


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