July 11, 2016
As a more racially and socioeconomically diverse body of students pursues college in the United States, schools find themselves responding to more requests to stock food pantries and hand out vouchers for supplies at campus bookstores. In addition to food pantries and vouchers, schools are also turning to completion grants to help students who run out of money and other financial-aid options in their last semester or year of school. A separate study from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) found that most of the schools it looked at turned to the grants after they noticed rising dropout rates among students close to graduating.
May 26, 2016
The Obama administration’s new overtime rule, issued last week, is an unwelcome interference to businesses around the U.S. It’s also going to have a negative impact on universities. The White House wanted to wave its magic wand and create higher salaries for many Americans who don’t qualify for overtime pay. Such pronouncements, however, often create unintended consequences. That includes the possibility of higher tuition — an impact that goes against President Barack Obama’s mission to make college more affordable.
May 24, 2016
The Obama administration's new overtime rules could be costly for U.S. colleges and universities, who will now need to pay overtime to some post-doctoral researchers, athletic coaches, admissions counselors and other lower-level salaried employees. The University of Colorado, which employs roughly 30,000 people across the state, is still calculating how expensive the rule-change will be. The new regulations, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor last week, take effect Dec.
May 20, 2016
This week the Obama administration released a final rule that will extend overtime pay to millions more American workers, including hundreds of thousands of lower-level salaried employees on college campuses. Much of the attention has focused on the impact on postdoctoral fellows, the overworked, underpaid backbone of the academic research enterprise. But it’s not just postdocs who will benefit from the rule, which will double the annual salary cutoff below which workers are generally eligible for overtime pay, raising it to $47,476. Many entry-level and midlevel professionals — from admissions officers to athletic trainers to student-aid administrators — will qualify too.
April 4, 2016
Citing disparities in graduation rates between students from rich and poor backgrounds, leaders from a group of public urban universities recently launched a new collaborative initiative to improve completion rates and eliminate the gaps. “We must find solutions,” said Mark Becker, president of Georgia State University, which is one of six urban public institutions participating in “Collaborating for Change”—an initiative launched last week by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU, and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, or USU.
March 14, 2016
Nine public urban research universities were awarded a total of $450,000 to launch or expand pilot “micro-grant” programs meant to prevent low-income college students who are close to graduation from dropping out, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) announced Monday.
February 23, 2016
When students are short on funds for tuition but otherwise on track to graduate, colleges and universities should provide “completion grants” to help make sure the students finish school instead of dropping out. That is the major thrust behind a new report released Monday and meant to highlight the best ways to identify and assist students for whom a lack of cash is the only thing that stands in between the students and earning a degree.
February 23, 2016
Oregon's seven public universities want more state money to help undergraduate students who are on the verge of graduation but face money woes stay in school. Higher education leaders are asking for $15 million from the Legislature during February's short session to help students who otherwise might drop out stay in school and finish their degrees, a request officials don't expect to receive with competing requests and a rapidly approaching legislative deadline.
February 22, 2016
Even modest financial hardships can often derail students who are nearing graduation. That’s why some colleges give small awards known as completion grants to low-income students who are well on their way to earning a degree. A just-in-time grant of even a few hundred dollars can keep many recipients from dropping out, according to a report released on Monday by the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The report, "Foiling the Dropout Trap," describes how 10 colleges are using similar aid strategies to help students overcome financial shortfalls and stay enrolled.
February 22, 2016
A small amount of financial aid, even $300, can go a long way toward helping a student graduate. Emergency aid or microgrants from colleges can be used to cover a last tuition bill or even to help pay for a financial emergency, like fixing a car or visiting a sick relative. Microgrants aren’t new. But a growing number of colleges -- both community colleges and four-year institutions -- have data to prove that this form of institutional aid improves student retention and can even save a college money by preventing dropouts.