College News Collage: Financial Aid Loophole
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An expose from ProPublica late last month revealed that several wealthy parents in Chicago, Illinois, gave up guardianship of their teenagers to qualify them for federal, state, and university financial aid intended for low-income students. Though the story has sparked outrage, the practice is legal. ProPublica's reporter, Jodi Cohen, also gave an interview to NPR and later published an explanation of her research process.
Speaking of misrepresentation, U.S. News & World Report recently revised its 2019 list of the best colleges in the U.S. after five schools — the University of California, Berkeley, Scripps College, Mars Hill University, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and Johnson & Wales University — admitted to misreporting data. UC Berkeley was in the number two slot before the revision.
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The University of Florida also got into trouble when a policy change last year limited access to funding for "non-budgeted" student groups — largely conservative ones. The resultant lawsuit filed by the student group Young Americans for Freedom was settled last week, with the university agreeing to change the policy and pay $66,000 in legal damages.
Loans and Finances
Hefty University Fees Are Sending Some Grad Students to Food Banks
With increasing cuts to state funding for universities, some schools raised tuition to make up the difference, which has driven graduate students to social welfare programs like food banks.
College Closing? Here's How to Get Your Student Loans Forgiven
With several private colleges shutting their doors and other state universities under financial stress, students are wondering how to recoup losses if their chosen colleges go under. Forbes has some advice.
Want Student Loan Forgiveness? Avoid These Three Scams
Forbes can also help you avoid student loan forgiveness scams, which have become more prominent in recent years. For more about the student debt crisis, check out Mikael Mulugeta's exploration of the impact of limited student debt cancellation.
How Military Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Works
Students with military service backgrounds have a variety of funding options — most notably, the 9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills®. Here, Yahoo! Finance explores several military-specific loan forgiveness programs.
College Faculty Have Become More Racially and Ethnically Diverse, but Remain Far Less So Than Students
A new study from Pew Research Center revealed that diversity among college faculty has improved but not kept pace with their students. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 76% of postsecondary faculty members in the U.S. in 2017 were white, compared to 55% of undergraduates.
College Presidents Prioritizing Student Mental Health
A new report from the American Council on Education summarizing interviews with U.S. university presidents found that mental health on campus is a top concern. About 42% of the surveyed presidents reported hearing about mental health issues on campus at least once a month, and 72% had increased university spending for mental health initiatives. For more about mental health challenges on campus, check out Samantha Solomon's BestColleges article on the need for better faculty training and Jessica Gold's piece on maintaining mental and physical health in college.
The University of Utah Will Require Professors to Share Safety Info After Four Students Were Killed in Two Years
After four high-profile student deaths in the past two years, the University of Utah is now requiring professors to include contact information for campus police in their course syllabi. The policy is designed to help keep students safe, although some students and parents have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of campus police.
Syracuse University Is America's Top Party School, Survey Finds
A recent survey published by The Princeton Review found that Syracuse University is the top party university in the U.S. The school ranked second in the "lots of hard liquor" category and eighth in the "lots of beer" category.
To Graduate, File the FAFSA, More High School Seniors Are Told
In an effort to increase student success, some states are now requiring high school students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before they can graduate. Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana have made the change, citing statistical correlations between students who complete the form and those who continue on to college. Check out Jonathan W.'s rundown of FAFSA deadlines to learn more.
Colleges Use Big Data to Boost Graduation Rates — at a Cost
With the increasing popularity of data science in private enterprise, it's no surprise that colleges are starting to get in on the action. The Hechinger Report explores the use of data analytics to predict which university students will struggle or drop out, which can result in earlier interventions by academic advisors but also brings up questions about student data privacy.
Remedial Education Fixes Won't Cure Completion Crisis
A new study of Tennessee remedial education programs found that they do little to increase college completion rates for students, even if the intervention starts in high school.
Recruiting in Rural America
As part of its strategic plan for increasing student enrollment, the University of North Carolina (UNC) system is targeting students from rural and low-income counties. To meet this goal, UNC plans to build closer relationships with rural community colleges and offer more online programs, which students can complete without leaving home.
In Other News
I Teach My Students to Lie. Honestly. Whoppers. It's Good for Them.
In a bold op-ed for The Washington Post in late July, David Lawrence Morse, a professor at the University of Michigan, explained his approach to teaching students about mass media and "fake news," encouraging them to lie in their essays.
Amazon, Walmart, Ikea Targeted in University of California Light Bulb Lawsuit
The University of California named Amazon, Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and IKEA in a lawsuit claiming that the retail giants infringed on patents held by the university to manufacture and sell "filament" LED light bulbs. The patent stemmed from research led by Nobel prizewinner Shuji Namakura at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
No, Half of Young Americans Don't Believe College Is Unnecessary
Several headlines last week announced that a recent survey found millennials no longer considered college necessary, but the findings were overstated, according to Inside Higher Ed. Instead, the survey's findings indicate that millennials still value a college education but consider the increasing price tag for that education a major problem. Only 5% indicated that they regretted going to college.
The Most Valuable College Majors Are Where The Jobs Are
Forbes reports that a recent survey from the Business Higher Education Forum and Pricewaterhouse Coopers found data science and analysis to be one of the fastest-growing careers and most promising college majors. For more career advice, check out Reece Johnson's article on the best jobs for the future.