April 2011 Archives

I'm a big believer in teaching kids about money. Giving an allowance to pay for gadgets, buy gifts, donate to charity, and establish good savings habits makes sense. Turns out, those money lessons may up kids' chances of finishing college, too. New research says that children with savings accounts in their own name are six times more likely to attend college than those who don't. The study is in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Children and Poverty. Family habits also matter. A review of 38 studies found a positive link between household assets and children's educational success, according ...


As promised at last fall's White House Community College Summit, the administration is continuing to focus on this oft-overlooked sector of higher education with a virtual symposium from 2-5 p.m today. The event will be held at Montgomery Community College's Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus in Maryland and streamed live online. You can register here, and a link to the webcast will be sent to all registered participants. The administration has held four regional meetings at community colleges since the October summit. Today's event will present findings from those gatherings, focusing on four areas: promoting college- and career-readiness among ...


Today, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program released a list of the top 120 community colleges, based on high standards for learning, completion rates, and training for competitive jobs. For a full list of the colleges, click here. Of the country's 1,200 community colleges, these schools ranked in the top 10 percent are eligible now to complete in the new $1 million fund for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. There will be one winner of approximately $700,000 and two to three runners-up announced in December. Former Michigan Governor John Engler and former Secretary of Education Richard ...


Attention high school students: Facebook isn't just for chatting with your friends. College-admissions officers are watching you. Be careful about what you post, but think of ways your online profile can work for you. Seventy percent of college-admissions officers said Facebook profiles are a medium or high priority in the admission process, according to Kaplan's 2010 College Admissions Survey and recently packaged as an infographic by Schools.com, an interactive site that provides students with information on degree programs and schools. However, the officials also said students' social-media profiles have generally helped them get accepted (62 percent). Still, 38 percent ...


Just when high school seniors thought the waiting was over—in the form of an acceptance (or rejection) letter from their dream school—many got word of being wait-listed. Do you move on with the sure thing or hold out hope? It's a conundrum. Wait lists are growing in popularity as students apply to more colleges, making it difficult for schools to predict who will say yes to their offers, says Jim Miller, president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. According to a 2010 NACAC report on admission practices, 39 percent of schools use wait lists and nearly...


Although the maximum Pell Grant of $5,550 survived the recent budget deal in Congress, year-round Pell Grants were scrapped, and now it looks like the battle in next year's budget will not be over whether—but how—to cut the federal aid program for low-income college students. Rather than slash awards by nearly $2,000 to pre-2008 levels as suggested by Republican leaders in the House, education policy experts are calling for changes in eligibility and delivery of the program to reduce costs in a letter released Friday through the College Board. The Pell program has exploded in recent...


The federal spending compromise cuts into the Pell Grant program, eliminating the option of year-round grants, but preserves the maximum single-grant amount.


When it comes to college admissions, students can be accepted, rejected, or wait-listed. Now a small, but increasing number of selective schools are trying a new strategy: offering deferred admission after a student goes to another institution for a year and maintains a certain grade point average. A story in The New York Times yesterday explains the dilemma that students face when they get accepted to their dream school—a year late. Do you tell the college where you intend to go for only a year that that's your plan? Do you only dive into campus life and friendships halfway,...


More Pell Grant money available to students has translated into higher enrollment at community colleges, a new study shows.


This has been a particularly tough year for students trying to get into the most selective colleges.


There is a lot of angst among potential Pell Grant recipients and colleges as the fate of the federal student aid program hangs in the air..


For years, the Pell Grant program has received broad bipartisan support. But now, tremendous growth in the federal student-aid program at a time when politicians are looking for ways to trim the budget is leading to ramped up rhetoric. Among the most volatile criticism is coming from Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Last week, he compared Pell Grants to "welfare" in a radio interview and questioned doling out money with no requirement for graduation. (See story and link to the interview in the Huffington Post.) President Obama's ...


Talk about college readiness often includes discussion of how much and what kind of math to take in high school. Today's Washington Post has a front-page story examining the push to raise graduation requirements to include Algebra 2. Those in higher education complain that students arrive on campus ill-prepared for college-level math because they don't take rigorous classes in high school—often skipping it as seniors, leaving a gap of a year in math instruction. Some 60 percent of new students at community college must enroll in developmental classes —often math—for no credit just to catch up. The Post article points...


Four new research reports are reflecting the growing success of early college high schools, an approach that has spread to 28 states with 230 schools and 50,000 students.


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