May 2, 2017
The deal reached by Congress this weekend on an omnibus budget for the current 2017 fiscal year included key victories for universities and higher ed advocates. The spending agreement, which funds the government through September, restores year-round Pell Grant funding, a longtime priority sought by student aid groups since its elimination as a cost-saving measure in 2011. The deal also funds the National Institutes of Health at $2 billion more than 2016 levels. And it provides modest increases to college readiness programs TRIO and GEAR UP, which were reduced significantly in the proposed White House 2018 budget plan.
April 28, 2017
Purdue University’s acquisition of Kaplan University is an unexpected tectonic shift in American higher education, revealing both the changing roles of public universities and the dwindling fortunes of for-profit colleges. The deal announced Thursday has the Indiana-based public research university acquiring nearly all of the credential-issuing side of Kaplan’s higher education business -- seven schools and colleges that make up Kaplan University, but not its School of Professional and Continuing Education.
April 11, 2017
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in February met with Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, along with 11 presidents of four-year, public universities. She also met with leaders of historically black colleges and universities that month.
April 3, 2017
It's never easy. There are many obstacles to getting that college degree. Money is often the biggest of all. And it is the number one reason why students fail to get their degree when they are just a semester or two from graduation. Cleveland State University started taking a look at students who had to delay or stop their studies just a few credits short of receiving their diploma.
March 14, 2017
Shari Garmise, the executive director of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and vice president of the office of urban initiatives at the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, said that so far, every single completion grant recipient has stayed in school or graduated. Next up are randomized control trials at several of the universities. Garmise said that for some schools, the study opens a larger issue: Is financial aid just for giving students access to college? Or can it be used to help them complete it? “We have a problem to solve,” she said. “The deeper question is how do we rethink financial aid as part of the total student journey.”
February 6, 2017
Several public universities are taking part in a pilot program to provide small-dollar grants to help low-income students complete their degrees. The five-year project is a collaboration of Temple University and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, which will use a nearly $4 million grant from the Education Department to examine and build out completion aid programs at up to 10 universities.
November 16, 2016
Administrators are almost always happy to lead conference sessions about their institutions’ successes, but sessions centered on their failures are rare. You learn a lot from mistakes, sure, but standing up in a hotel ballroom to talk about how you and your colleagues screwed up — even with the best intentions — may not be a popular move back on campus. Setbacks are common nonetheless, as is benefiting from them. "Many of the things we do in higher education seem like good ideas at the time with the information we have, but there are certain things you can only see as do-overs," says Tiffany Mfume, director of Morgan State University’s Office of Student Success and Retention. "What we don’t do usually is admit that."
November 16, 2016
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. urged university leaders Tuesday to be sure that students do not feel harassed or intimidated in the wake of a divisive election that has left "many of our students feeling vulnerable." He spoke in Austin Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. King said that all students, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with respect. Higher education leaders need to send "a clear message" that campuses will not tolerate harassment, that "diversity is a value" and that they will "respond aggressively to places where safety is violated," he said.
November 13, 2016
More than ever, a college education is an indispensable qualification for American workers. Since 2008, 99 percent of all new jobs have gone to individuals with at least some college education. Median annual earnings, meanwhile, are $32,000 higher for bachelor’s degree holders than for workers whose highest credential is a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, that average wage premium translates into $1 million in additional earnings. And as technological advances accelerate and our economy grows increasingly sophisticated, a college education will become even more important.
November 4, 2016
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant universities, wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times: “Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to collectively increase the number of Americans earning a degree and share best practices that help to move the needle.” That’s an important step forward that deserves the support of the president of the United States.