February 23, 2018
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities announced a new effort in which 100 public research universities — organized in clusters of eight to 10 institutions — will work together to increase graduation rates by hundreds of thousands by 2025. The clusters will develop, refine and scale innovative practices in a way that also aims to close the achievement gap, the group said. Participating schools will commit to sharing key data and advocating proven practices within their groups in an effort to develop models that could work on a larger scale.
February 21, 2018
A group of 100 public universities will work with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to produce hundreds of thousands of additional degrees while also reducing achievement gaps for underrepresented student groups. The college completion project, which APLU announced today, is the latest sign of greater urgency among public universities about graduation rates and student success, aided in part by performance-based funding formulas that are on the books in 35 states.
February 7, 2018
With their attention occupied by tax reform last year, the higher education lobby had a muted response to the GOP's first crack at overhauling the student aid system and how it keeps colleges accountable. That’s begun to change over the last month as major higher ed associations have issued forceful criticisms of the PROSPER Act, as Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have labeled their update to the Higher Education Act, while also alerting member institutions about perceived serious problems with the bill.
February 7, 2018
Over 50 years ago, with the creation of Pell Grants and federal student loan programs, college access became a national priority for higher education. In the last decade, a broad agreement has emerged that institutions also need to do more to help students complete their degrees. These targets of college access and completion are now taken for granted as guiding goals for postsecondary institutions.
January 26, 2018
The U.S. Senate education committee got into the weeds of higher education policy again Thursday, examining how the federal government could open up innovation by colleges and universities. But the biggest buzzword that emerged from a two-hour hearing -- “guardrails” -- signaled the focus of Democrats and expert witnesses on the quality protections that should come with opening up federal aid to nontraditional providers, as congressional Republicans have proposed doing. The tension over that specific issue reflects a larger divide between the parties that applies to many questions involved in an update of the Higher Education Act.
December 13, 2017
After debating and voting on amendments all day Tuesday, the House education committee advanced to the full chamber on a party-line vote a rewrite of the federal law governing higher education in the U.S. The legislation, called the PROSPER Act, would change accountability for colleges and universities, alter the student financial aid landscape, and loosen restrictions on short-term and for-profit programs.
December 4, 2017
If you have children and plan to put them through college, the tuition checks you will eventually write may add up to the largest expense you will ever face. Picking the right college will be one of the most emotionally complex financial decisions of your life. But if you want to know what your children might earn one day if they pursue a particular major at a certain school, comprehensive data covering all students is not available to you. In fact, it’s illegal to collect it.
November 14, 2017
Over the last year, college and university leaders have grappled with provocateurs who effectively shut down campuses with their appearances and tap deeply into the institutions’ pocketbooks. Administrators have not yet figured out how to handle a speech by white supremacist Richard Spencer, for instance, and those like him, without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on security to monitor possible protests. Though not every controversial speaker will generate a crowd, some campus protests have turned bloody.
September 29, 2017
An Obama administration initiative that provided consumer information on colleges and universities has survived for another year and into the Trump administration. The Department of Education published updated information on the College Scorecard Thursday, including a new feature that allows students to compare data from up to 10 institutions at once. The update is a significant win for proponents of transparency in higher education who have watched Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over recent months delay and water down requirements for the gainful-employment measure.
September 22, 2017
Public scrutiny of how colleges handle sexual assault cases is appropriate. Institutions should be held accountable for safeguarding the rights of complainants and respondents. That these cases are often extremely complicated and challenging does not in any way diminish the need for fair policies.