Educators and policymakers are anxious for answers to "what works" when it comes to getting more students into college. One low-cost intervention that seems to pay off: Pairing high school students with college mentors to help them through the application process. Researchers who did randomized experiments of college coaching and support programs in Los Angeles and New Hampshire found promising results that they shared Thursday in Washington at the spring conference of Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE). In 2005-06, the SOURCE program matched college students from the University of California Los Angeles with 2,500 high school juniors ...


Some districts are turning to Web-based tools to empower students to manage their academic records and make it easier to apply for college.


After eliminating early-action programs four years ago, Harvard University and Princeton University announced Thursday that both institutions would restore them this fall. When the universities made the move in 2006, the hope was that other schools would follow suit, but the trend didn't catch on. The University of Virginia did drop its early-decision program in 2006 and last fall restored a nonbinding early-action policy. With competitors offering the option, the universities are responding in part to demand in the marketplace. (For more on the trends in early action and early decision, see this blog post.) Harvard and Princeton will maintain ...


Colleges and universities struggling to make ends meet are looking more closely at applicants' financial status as one way to boost revenues, according to an article, Buying Your Way into College, in The Wall Street Journal last weekend. Many schools begin by admitting part of the class without regard to ability to pay, but they start to consider it when the financial-aid budget runs thin, the article says. With college endowments not yet fully recovered from the recession, state budget cutbacks to education, and a greater number of needier students, many institutions are starting to rein in their generosity. "The ...


If college grads won't shape the political landscape of our country, who will? A new study shows that going to college has zero positive impact on being actively engaged in the political process beyond voting. The findings are part of the Enlightened Citizenship: How Civic Knowledge Trumps a College Degree in Promoting Active Civic Engagemen, the fifth annual National Civic Literacy Report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization. This year's report focuses on how well America's colleges and universities are preparing graduates for lives of informed and responsible civic duty and answers the question: Is ...


Thinking about swinging by a few college campuses over spring break? I spoke with Don Fraser Jr., director of education and training at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, about how to make the most out of your visit. Planning is critical. Research ahead of time to learn all you can about the colleges you want to visit. Write down what stood out, take notes, and bring them along so you know what questions to ask. Look closely at the calendar and find out when tours are offered. If you have time and the college offers it, stay overnight ...


Here's a good overview of the ideas experts are tossing around to improve the college experience.


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just announced the Department of Education will hold four community college regional summits to discuss best practices for college completion. The summits will be held over the next two months and bring together 150 participants representing community colleges, business, industry, philanthropy, labor, government, and students from the various regions. Governors, mayors, or community college presidents will kick off the event in each location. Here's the line up: Feb. 28- Community College of Philadelphia: "Transitioning Adult Learners to Community Colleges and the Workforce" March 9 - Lone Star College System, Houston: "Successful Transfer Programs" ...


Depression and loss of financial aid are top factors for college students considering dropping out, according to a new Michigan State University study. Students also were sensitive to being recruited by an employer or another institution, experiencing a large increase in tuition or living costs, an unexpected bad grade, and roommate conflicts. Less critical events—those that did not have a significant influence on their intention to drop out—included: a death in the family, significant injury, inability to enter their intended major, addiction to a substance.coming into a large sum of money, the loss of a job needed...


The number of students who enrolled in community college last fall was up 3.2 percent from the previous year—a significant slowdown compared with the 11 percent increase from fall 2008 to fall 2009, according to a new report released by the American Association of Community Colleges. Community colleges have experienced enrollment increases in eight of the past 10 years and represent 44 percent of all U.S. undergraduates. Community colleges have grown by more than 20 percent over the past three years with 1.4 million more students enrolled in fall 2010 than in fall 2007. The additional...


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