November 15, 2018
Four Illinois universities have joined an ambitious national effort to resolve persistent inequities in higher education. About 130 schools and university systems have signed onto a program directed by the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., officials announced this week. Dubbed “Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success,” the initiative groups together school leaders to brainstorm ways to improve access to higher education, eliminate achievement gaps among students and boost the number of students earning postsecondary degrees.
September 19, 2018
Many graduates who had majored in liberal arts, social science, or education expressed buyer’s remorse. They were more likely than science and engineering majors to say they wished they had chosen a different field of study to prepare for their ideal job, a Pew Research Center study found in 2014. “They’re getting this message from home: ‘The main thing is, you’ve got to get a job,’” Catherine W. Howard, Virginia Commonwealth University’s vice provost for community engagement, said at a recent event held by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “These parents have experienced the hardships of the downturn.”
August 29, 2018
If students across the country judged the value of college by headlines alone, they would come away with a bleak view of higher education. Rising costs. Diminishing value. Questionable career prospects. It’s a small miracle students enroll in college at all. Yet despite the widespread cynicism about higher education, more people are going to college than ever before. They know investing in their future offers something far more promising than headlines suggest. Students who enroll cite increased earning potential and improved job prospects as their top reasons for pursuing a degree. The value of a college education has never been higher. The close link between college attainment and wages, employment prospects, and job satisfaction is as strong as ever. Even many of the most strident critics of higher education still strongly encourage their own children to pursue a college education. But we need to widen our view beyond individuals to gauge the full value of higher education.
July 27, 2018
The Democrat-crafted bill, a version of the Higher Education Act that is due for reauthorization, has some significant differences from the PROSPER Act, a Republican-sponsored plan passed earlier this year by the House. The HEA would, among other provisions, increase the annual Pell grant maximum; allow two tuition-free years at a community college; preserve the TEACH grant program that provides student aid to those who agree to teach certain subjects in high-needs schools; create competitive grant programs for future teachers and school leaders and preserve the provision in the HEA that allows teachers in some cases to cancel out their college debt. The Aim Higher Act “would make important progress in supporting college access, affordability and completion,” APLU president Peter McPherson said in a statement. “The bill includes a number of provisions that APLU supports and has advocated for over the years,” he said, citing annual inflation adjustments for Pell grants, fixing “flaws of the 90/10 rule” governing federal aid ratios and expanding the collection and reporting of higher-ed outcomes data to count all students.
July 27, 2018
Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a bill summary of the Aim Higher Act, their stance on how to comprehensively reauthorize the Higher Education Act, a critical piece of legislation guiding federal higher education policy, which due to lack of bipartisan agreement has not been renewed since 2008.
May 21, 2018
A decade after the last comprehensive overhaul of federal higher education law, Congress is again working on a rewrite of the nation’s higher education policy – with legislation that could come to the House floor this year. As our economy continues to produce outsized job growth for positions requiring a college education, it’s more important than ever that federal policy works to expand college access, foster college affordability, and strengthen workforce competitiveness.
May 17, 2018
Students across the country are walking across the stage this month to accept college diplomas, marking one of the most consequential achievements of their lives. Yet far too many of their peers come agonizingly close to joining them on the podium, only to fall just short of the credits needed to graduate. For some of these students, financial strain has simply knocked them off course. We tend to view financial aid as something that seals the deal for students: with the door of opportunity open, the only thing standing between them and a degree is their drive to complete it. But while financial aid sets students on the path to graduation, even the most determined students can fail to reach the finish line when financial shortfalls arise late in their college career.
April 26, 2018
In President Donald Trump’s determination to dismantle all things Obama, his administration should spare the former president’s higher-education student loan reforms. They provide opportunities for more students to attend college and to repay loans at a rate that won’t put graduates on the road to ruin.
April 18, 2018
If there’s anyone in Congress who would understand the challenges many students face in paying for a higher education – and the value it adds to our economy and society – it should be North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx. She holds a doctorate in teaching, she taught and was an administrator at a community college and university – including serving as president of Mayland Community College. Many of her innovative initiatives were focused helping students gain access to greater opportunities including on-campus child care and improved counseling and advising.
March 22, 2018
A massive spending bill agreed to by congressional negotiators Wednesday raises the maximum Pell Grant by $175, includes an additional $3 billion for the National Institutes of Health as well as increased funds for the National Science Foundation, and provides $152.8 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which President Trump had sought to eliminate. It also includes about $350 million in funding to address eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a top priority for Senator Elizabeth Warren throughout negotiations to fund the government through the rest of the 2018 fiscal year. That amount is a fraction of what the Massachusetts Democrat had hoped to see in a final spending package. But it’s part of a slate of new funding for college affordability and education programs in the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, which lawmakers from the House and Senate must pass quickly to avoid another government shutdown Friday night.