In hopes of saving Pell Grants from getting slashed by the congressional "Super Committee" charged with deficit reduction, a new lobbying effort is under way by the Student Aid Alliance, a group of 74 higher education associations, advocacy groups, and other organizations. The alliance issued a statement yesterday defending the nearly 40-year-old student-aid program as vital to the economic future of the country. So far, the statement has nearly 1,800 signatures of support. "Recent budget deals have already cut $30 billion from the student-aid programs, sacrificing some students' benefits to pay for others. States across the country are cutting ...


Don't know what to get a teenager or young adult in your life for the next holiday? You could pool your money with other friends and relatives to pay for college expenses. A new website, ShareAGift.com, allows people (or a friend or family member on their behalf ) to create gift pages for a specific purpose—to raise money for a laptop, trip, or college tuition. An email invitation can go out to friends and family, along with updates on the money contributed and reminders. The contributor pays $1, plus PayPal transaction fees. Justine Angelli is founder and chief executive...


There is a high cost to federal, state, and local governments when full-time community college students don't return for a second year. A new report by the American Institutes of Research estimates the cost of freshman dropouts over five years is $4 billion. The Hidden Cost of Community Colleges by Mark Schneider, vice president of AIR and Lu (Michelle) Yin, researcher at AIR, breaks down the financial price of those who drop out by state and institution in an interactive map here. Looking at academic years 2004-05 through 2008-09, AIR arrived at the cost figure by adding up $3 billion ...


More students are applying to an increasing number of colleges, while acceptance rates are slightly down, a report released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling today reveals. The 2011 State of College Admission by the Arlington, Va.-based education association, finds that 73 percent of colleges reported an increase in applications for fall 2010 over the previous year. Even as the number of high school graduates declines, more nontraditional students are seeking higher education, the report found. After remaining stable for three years, the average acceptance rate at four-year colleges and universities declined by 1 percentage point to ...


Although colleges and universities give most of their aid to need-based students, a growing proportion is being awarded to students based on academic achievement without regard to finances, according to a report released Tuesday. The National Center for Education Statistics examined trends in merit aid for college undergraduates from 1995-1996 and 2007-08. Here are the key findings from the report: In 2007-08, about 14 percent of undergraduates received merit aid ($4,700 on average) compared with 6 percent in 1995-96 (average of $4,000 in constant 2007 dollars). The proportion of students receiving need-based aid was larger in 2007-08 (37 ...


There is no shortage of ideas for how to improve education. But the key to making any of them work is implementation. "It's process, process, process," said C. Jackson Grayson, chairman of the American Productivity & Quality Center, at a Global Education Roundtable his organization hosted at the National Education Association in Washington today. The nonprofit based in Houston, Texas, hosted the gathering of government, education, military, business, and health-care leaders to discuss the importance of process and performance management in transforming education at all levels. Some participated by video conference from remote locations around the world. APQC was founded by ...


As the emphasis moves from college access to completion, the issue of retention is a hot topic in higher education circles. Just how do you keep students coming back after their freshman year and engaged all the way to graduation? And just whose responsibility is it—high schools, colleges, nonprofits? There are so many reasons that students drop out of college: Some are struggling academically. Others lack direction. Often, it's a matter of finances. To keep students on track, colleges and nonprofits are trying all kind of ideas. There are peer-mentoring programs, tutoring services, financial-aid guidance, and help with the ...


High school students across the country are busily wrapping up their Common Apps this month to make the first round of deadlines in a college-application season that, for many, will not end until Dec. 31. So much for the plan to do it over the summer. The reality is that there will be many late nights ahead for applicants, which means last-minute questions and the potential for errors. So I asked Scott Anderson, director of Common Application Inc. in Arlington, Va., about some of the common mistakes and FAQS that the support center at the Common Application for Undergraduate Admissions ...


The deadline of Oct. 29 is fast approaching for colleges to meet a federal requirement to have cost calculators on their websites. While designed to be a helpful way for families to comparison shop for colleges, the quality of what's been put online is mixed and not always user-friendly. The Institute for College Access & Success looked at some of the early attempts at net-price calculators in its report Adding It All Up: An Early Look at Net Price Calculators and saw room for improvement. The concept behind the mandate is to allow students to figure out what the exact cost ...


Along with polishing up essays, students applying for college might be smart to spend time reviewing their online presence and revising their social-media profiles. Admissions counselors are checking out applicants' Facebook pages. The latest survey by Kaplan Test Prep shows 24 percent say they have gone to an applicant's Facebook or other social-networking page to learn more about the person, and 20 percent have Googled him or her. Others, such as Schools.com, say as many as 70 percent of colleges use Facebook as a medium to high priority in the admissions process. Online profiles can help or hurt a ...


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