November 2010 Archives

Every family I know seems to have had this discussion lately: Does it matter where you go to college?


With the college application essay gaining importance in admissions decisions, an expert offers prospective students some advice.


Think your school is doing a good job of preparing students for life beyond high school. How about getting an outsider's take?


While students may enter a for-profit college with high hopes of getting a degree, the vast majority never get one. What they do often leave with is unmanageable debt. Low completion rates and high levels of debt in this growing sector of higher education were outlined in a new report released today by the Education Trust, a nonprofit in Washington that focuses on closing the achievement gap. Just 22 percent of students at for-profit colleges earn a bachelor's degree within six years, compared with 55 percent to 65 percent at public and private nonprofit colleges and universities, according to Subprime ...


More applications than ever are pouring into admissions offices at the nation's colleges, and that is raising concerns about access to higher education.


Experts responded yesterday to a recent report about low college completion rates among minorities with ideas that included remedies from K-12. While there is no quick fix, sponsors of the report, Minorities in Higher Education 2010, convened a panel to discuss the survey results and possible approaches to close the achievement gap. The report found progress in college completion was virtually stagnant for African-Americans and Hispanics. It also showed younger minorities were slipping in their postsecondary attainment compared to their older peers. (See post.) "For high schools, the culture of low expectations that continues to persist is a challenge that ...


City, education, and business leaders in New Haven, Conn., are ramping up efforts to get more students on the track for college. Today, the city is announcing its public schools will be working with College Summit, a nonprofit that promotes a college-going culture in 170 schools in 12 states through workshops and programs. "New Haven is making a commitment to providing support to all students for their path to higher education," says J.B. Schramm, chief executive officer and founder of College Summit. "All high school students will get intensive support, and it is also ensuring that students K-8 know ...


If students are going to be successful at community colleges, they need to be more aware of support available as they transition onto campus. A new report released yesterday by the Center for Community College Student Engagement reveals that 19 percent of students surveyed were unaware their college had an orientation program and 26 percent didn't know about financial-aid advising. And those writing, math, and other skill labs available on campus? Most knew they existed (70 percent), yet 65 percent never stepped in the door for help. Surely, you'd think a college student would take advantage of academic advising. The ...


An interesting disconnect between teachers and students about college readiness was revealed in the annual 2010 Deloitte Education Survey, released this week. While just 31 percent of high school teachers think their graduating seniors are prepared for college, 68 percent of current college students say they were prepared for college coursework during their first year. Still, about 28 percent of students surveyed had to take remedial classes to get up to speed. Other sources, such as the College Board, put that number as high as 40 percent. What then should high schools do to get students on a solid footing ...


To make their schools look even more selective, colleges love to publicize the number of applications they receive each year. Once they tell about the thousands of students who apply, they then share the small percentage of students they actually welcome to their campuses. Proclaiming just a 7 percent or 9 percent rate, colleges hope to make themselves look attractive and win the popularity contest among the best students. The Chronicle of Higher Education and The New York Times have a great collaborative story on the topic posted here. Check it out and share with high school students the concept ...


In the K-12 world, it's all about the teachers. Highly qualified ones are critical to student achievement. So, what does the teaching pool look like when students step foot on a college campus? More instructors are part time and more are women, according to a report by the National Center for Education statistics released this week. "Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2009, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Staff, 2009-10," shows that between fall 2003 and fall 2009, the proportion of full-timers fell across all institution types. Institutions reported employing approximately 3.8 million individuals in fall 2009, of whom about ...


If students are going to get those all-important college degrees, they need to be engaged on campus. That's why the results of the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement released today are good for educators and policymakers to consider. Now in its 10th year, the NSSE measures the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and educational activities, as well as how colleges are providing resources to support those activities. It includes the responses of 362,000 first-year students and seniors attending 564 U.S. colleges and universities. The research looks at levels of academic challenge, active ...


Families can use all the help they can get when it comes to paying for college. Tax credits for higher education are a popular way to curb the cost. A new report calls for the federal tax credits for college expenses to be fully refundable and deposited into college savings accounts for Americans from low- and middle-income families when students are in the 8th grade. The report, "Enhancing Tax Credits to Encourage Savings for Higher Education," was released by the New America Foundation on Tuesday. Author Mark Huelsman suggests tax-credit changes designed to encourage savings and make college more accessible ...


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