Getting more students ready for college and careers is a job that's too big for schools to do alone, says Amanda Broun, senior vice president for the Public Education Network, a national association of local education funds (LEFs) and individuals working to advance public school reform in low-income communities. At its conference in Washington this week, the PEN membership unanimously voted to adopt a goal of increasing the numbers of college- and career-ready students by 100,000 in the next two years. This represents about a 3.5 percent increase. To meet this goal, LEFs will work in partnership with ...


There is a lot of money to be saved when high school students graduate early, so many states are offering incentives for high-achieving students who take this route. But as states craft policies, researchers at Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based national nonprofit, looked into the best way to encourage this education fast-track. Incentives for Early Graduation: How Can State Policies Encourage Students to Complete High School in Less Than Four Years? by Diane Ward and Joel Vargas notes that a growing number of states are offering financial rewards for students who graduate early from high school. Their brief suggests ...


While some public schools may be eager to get the additional revenue that comes with out-of-state students, others are actually making deals to lure them in. (See the post I wrote on Monday about how more students were looking beyond their home state for college.) U.S. News and World Report identified public colleges that have affordable tuition for out-of-state students and ones that are willing to waive fees to attract students from other parts of the country. Some schools offering incentives or lower tuition for out-of-stater students are in areas eager to boost their student body, such as Kansas, ...


The latest numbers are out today from the Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access & Success, and they're not encouraging. Along with their degrees, two-thirds of seniors left college owing an average of $25,250 in student loans—5 percent more than a year ago. Unemployment for the class of 2010 was 9.1 percent, up from 8.7 percent in last year's report. Discouraging, but better than the unemployment rate of 20.4 percent for young adults with only a high school diploma. Debt levels by state show graduates form the Northeast and Midwest had the ...


Incoming college students can receive financial help based on need, merit, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, states are rewarding students with grants and scholarships linked to academic performance. State grants not based on need have grown at triple the rate of need-based grants over the past 10 years, according to a report by the Education Trust this summer. Institutions, too, are distributing nearly $15 billion on grant aid, often in a regressive manner, the report found, giving out more money to students from high-income families than from low-income ones. A recent report by the College Board showed that ...


Since California is often a step ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to everything from trends to public policy, it may be smart to follow the discussion happening there about community college completion. A Student Success Task Force has produced a draft report with 23 recommendations to improve educational attainment for students at the state's 112 community colleges. The plan is being floated around the state at town hall meetings all month to get feedback before presenting it to the board of governors and state legislature by March. Among the recommendations of the task force, which ...


High school students applying to colleges this fall are often looking beyond the borders of their home states. More students are migrating to out-of-state schools, and colleges are eager for their fatter tuition checks. An article today in the Chronicle of Higher Education examines the trend and provides an interactive map where you can search by college or by state. Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts top the list for attracting the most out-of-state freshmen. The University of Maryland was the most popular in-state school, with 67 percent of freshmen coming from Maryland. Why are more students going out of state? ...


Today, yet another new ranking of colleges is out—this listing ordered by student choice. Parchment, an education data company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., released Parchment Top-Choice College Rankings based on actual student-enrollment decisions. The colleges were ranked based solely on the decisions of 12,300 students who were admitted to multiple colleges and chose to attend one. The students had accounts with Parchment and responded via email about where they were accepted and ultimately decided to attend. Each time a school was a student's first choice, it got points, and the totals translated into the listing. While the results...


President Obama's latest push to help student-loan borrowers includes an initiative to better inform them before they take on debt. Speaking at the University of Colorado in Denver Wednesday, Obama outlined his executive order to accelerate the income-based loan-repayment plan Congress approved last year so students would be eligible in 2012. The plan caps loan repayments at 10 percent of discretionary income and was slated to go into effect in 2014. (See the Politics K-12 blog for details.) Obama also announced a new fact sheet, "Know Before You Owe," being developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The financial-aid shopping ...


The College Board came out with its annual trend reports that once again show the cost of college rising, but financial aid and grants cushioning the impact of the increases. Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions were up 8.3 percent in 2011-12 over last year, to $17,131, including room and board. The total cost of attending a private nonprofit four-year college and university was $38,589, up about 4.4 percent. Inflation rose 3.6 percent in the same period. Thanks primarily to an increase in aid from the federal government, the net price that ...


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