Student Loans & Aid

Do we over-invest in non-traditional students?

Do We Over-Invest in Non-Traditional Students? asks Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, on Minding the Campus. Older and part-time students are the “new majority” on college campuses, but their completion rates are low, reports the National Student Clearinghouse. Two-thirds of full-time traditional-age students who started in 2007 — but only half of […]

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Making college affordable

Are there better ways to pay for higher education? The Lumina Foundation has commissioned papers on new models of financial aid by a wide array of authors. In Redefining College Affordability, Education Optimists Sara Goldrick-Rab and Nancy Kendall propose offering two free years at a public college to every high school graduate. • All eligible […]

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Why job-seekers pick for-profit colleges

Some career-focused students choose a for-profit college over a much cheaper community college, writes Sophie Quinton on National Journal. In Virginia Beach, 27-year-old Darius Mitchell was “really tired of making $9 an hour.” After years working retail jobs, he consolidated previous student loans and took out more to enroll at ECPI University. He’ll graduate in May with […]

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‘Gainful employment’ rules are ‘awful’

The new “gainful employment” rules are “awful,” ”unfair and discriminatory,” writes Richard Vedder on Minding the Campus. An Ohio University economist, Vedder directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. The gainful employment rules apply to vocational programs at career colleges (primarily for-profit) and community colleges. If the goal is to stop wasting government money,”why not scrutinize students […]

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CC students borrow — and default — more

Community college students are defaulting on their student loans at high rates, writes Brittany Hackett, an editor at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, on Community College Daily. Although community college tuition remains relatively low, students are more likely to borrow and to take out larger loans than in the past. Many are using student loans […]

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‘Skill builders’ don’t want degrees

 Not every college student wants a degree. “Skill builders” use community colleges to pick up expertise, writes Eddie Small on the Hechinger Report. Once they have what they need, they depart. If they’re counted as degree-seeking students — the only way to qualify for financial aid — that drives up the college’s dropout rate. Kevin Floerke, […]

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States consider $0 community college tuition

Worried about a shortage of skilled workers, some states are considering free community college tuition, reports NPR. In Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam wants to use lottery money to create a free community college program for high school graduates. The state wants 55 percent of Tennesseans to have a college degree by 2025, up from 32 […]

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College heads resist federal ratings

College presidents “agree that their institutions should be reporting much more information about the career and other outcomes of their graduates,” but they’re wary of federal involvement,  according to Inside Higher Ed‘s new survey of college presidents. Three-quarters of presidents say their institutions should be reporting the debt levels, job placement rates and graduate school enrollment […]

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Students borrow for living costs

“Some Americans caught in the weak job market are lining up for federal student aid, not for education that boosts their employment prospects but for the chance to take out low-cost loans,” reports Josh Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal. Some don’t care if they earn a degree, writes Mitchell.  They use the loans to pay […]

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Obama budget funds Pell graduation bonuses

President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget includes $7 billion over 10 years to reward colleges that do a good job of graduating Pell Grant recipients, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. The maximum Pell Grant would increase by $100 to $5,830. The spending plan seeks $4-billion over four years to encourage states to maintain their higher-education […]

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