September 2011 Archives

Although Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in K-12 schools in the United States, their college-completion rate is 19.2 percent compared with the national average of 41.1 percent, according to a report released today. The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center chronicles the challenge facing Latinos, along with a a state policy guide and interactive website focusing on Latino education developed in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza,a national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. As of 2008, 63.9 percent of Hispanic high school completers enrolled in a two or four-year college immediately ...


Enough already. That's what college officials have to say about federal regulations that require a range of activities, from entrance counseling for financial-aid borrowers to reporting data on campus crime and graduation rates. Nearly 86 percent of senior executives and office administrators say the regulations in the Higher Education Act are "burdensome" or "very burdensome," according to the preliminary findings of the Higher Education Regulations Study released yesterday. The critical findings were based on the opinions of 2,000 college officials captured in an online survey and follow-up interviews. The review was mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of ...


The U.S. Department of Education has announced that 34 colleges and universities will share $13 million in grant money as part of the Strengthening Institutions Program to help improve institutions to better serve low-income students. Funds can be used for planning, faculty development, academic programs, student support services, customized course instruction, construction and maintenance, administrative management, and the establishment of an endowment fund. The program funds grants for five years. The amounts ranged from $160,000 to $400,000, with most schools receiving close to $400,000. Grantees included: Central Alabama Community College, Childersburg, Ala. Mesa Community College, Mesa, ...


What many think of as a traditional college student—one who lives on campus, attends classes full time, and doesn't need to work much—makes up only 25 percent of those in higher education today. Three-quarters of students are college commuters, often juggling families, jobs, and schools. Four in 10 attend part time. Outside of being an interesting demographic shift, this new normal on campus has significant implications for completion, according to a report, Time Is the Enemy: The Surprising Truth About Why Today's College Students Aren't Graduating and What Needs to Change, by Complete College America, a national...


A new curriculum being developed in Yale University's backyard aims to instill a college-going attitude in students as early as preschool, with students from pre-K through 8th grade spending one day a month focused on college-going skills, from goal-setting to financial literacy.


College admissions officers admit there is increasing pressure to recruit students with the ability to pay, according to a new, anonymous survey.


During the next decade, high school enrollment is expected to decline, while the number of students going to college will continue to increase. And more Americans will be completing postsecondary certificates and degrees, but not likely at the rate many hoped if the country is to become the world's leader in education attainment again. New forecasts released yesterday from the National Center for Education Statistics are merely projections, but they do help educators and policymakers craft strategies in anticipation of population trends. Among the highlights of Projections of Education Statistics to 2019: • The number of high school students in grades...


Nearly 80 new laws related to college completion have passed state legislatures so far this year, according to a new iniative tracking the issue.


Colleges are busy complying with a new federal requirement for a "net-price calculator" so students can get a better sense of the true cost of attending a particular institution.


To meet President Obama's goal to have the country lead the world in having the most college graduates by 2020, administration officials say every type of higher education institution — including Historically Black Colleges and Universities — need to ramp up completion efforts. To help achieve this, the administration is committed to increased federal funding and leveraging support of the private sector, philanthropies and alumni to support HBCUs, John Silvanus Wilson, director of the White House HBCU Initiative, told a gathering of leaders from that community in Washington this morning, To highlight the specific benchmarks for colleges, Wilson unveiled a new feature...


Two reports out this week reflect the tough financial reality that many colleges are facing in this economy and its impact on students.


While much of the reporting on college access and completion is on students who enter straight out of high school and proceed through graduation, the path is not that linear for many. Sometimes life gets in the way of a degree and students drop out just shy of a degree for personal, financial, or academic reasons. "Near completers" are considered students who have completed most of their course requirements and maintained their grades for a degree, but are short a few credits. The challenge of re-engaging these students and supporting them to the finish line of college completion was the ...


The SAT scores are in for the graduating class of 2011, and while more students than ever are taking the college-entrance exam, the performance of test-takers is down in every category. (See full story here.) The average SAT is now 1500, compared with 1501 for last year's cohort. Since 2007, critical-reading and writing scores have declined 4 points each, while math has managed to remain steady. The College Board attributes the dip to the larger, more diverse participant pool that includes more first-generation, ethnic and racial minority,and low-income students. Still, the downward trend in reading and writing is cause ...


It's out. U.S. News and World Report has posted its 2012 Best Colleges rankings.


News out from the U.S. Department of Education today on student-loan repayment reflects the hard times that young people are having with unemployment and the increasing trouble that those who attend for-profit colleges are having in paying back their debt. The official fiscal 2009 national student-loan cohort default rate has jumped to 8.8 percent, up from 7.0 percent in FY 2008. This is the highest the default rate has been since 1997. When it was first calculated in 1987, it was 17.6 percent and peaked in 1990 at 22.4 percent. The increase was felt in ...


New studies find that choosing a career path early is strongly correlated with community college students earning a degree.


Supporting the growing movement to promote college- and career-readiness, the nonprofit organization Achieve announced yesterday a new initiative to provide online resources and partnerships with states to advocate high academic expectations and preparation for all students. The Future Ready Project features a new website that will serve as an advocacy resource center. It is geared for education reform leaders, state policymakers, and parents looking to build coalitions of support. It provides free information, including fact sheets and research to help make the case for advancing the college- and career-readiness agenda. One section offers ideas for how to reach out to ...


Only reporting the graduation rates of first-time, full-time students does not fully capture what's happening on community colleges campuses. So a group of policy experts suggest two-year institutions look at the progress of part-time and transfer students, as well as track the learning outcomes and employment of their students to give a better picture of the performance of community colleges. The Committee on Measures of Student Success, named by the U.S. Department of Education in June 2010, released its draft report of recommendations Friday. If adopted, they could significantly expand how community colleges collect and report data. The committee ...


The 2012 U.S. News and World Reports' Best Colleges ranking to be released on Sept. 13 will include for the first time for-profit colleges and universities that grant bachelor's degrees and are regionally accredited—many of which are online programs. The news came in an article about the methodology behind the list posted on the U.S. News website by ranking guru and economist Robert Morse. Recently profiled in the Washington Post about the controversial, yet popular rankings, Morse has been at the helm of Best Colleges at U.S. News since 1989. This year, readers will notice that...


For those trying to sort out the details of the new federal regulations, referred to as "program integrity" rules, the U.S. Department of Education launched a Q&A website this week. Here, you can find out how the much-debated gainful-employment rules will work. The gainful-employment rules released in June are designed to force career-college programs (mainly at for-profit colleges) to be more transparent and accountable. Under the new regulations, a program can lose access to federal student aid if too many of its students fail to find "gainful employment" as defined by three measures linked to loan repayment and ...


Many students graduating from public high schools in Illinois—even students with good grades from top schools —are not prepared for the rigor of college, according to an analysis of state education data by the Chicago Tribune published Wednesday. Public school graduates at 10 of the state's 11 four-year universities averaged less than a 3.0 grade point average their freshman year, raising questions about college-readiness efforts. "The High School-to-College Success Report" tracked more than 90,000 high school students who had at least a B average and graduated between 2006 and 2008. Of that group, the average freshman...


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