Report: Nearly 1 million community college students can’t take out federal loans That’s because their schools don’t participate in the federal program. The Institute for College Access and Success, which studied the issue nationally, said 8.5 percent of all students at the public two-year colleges are blocked from a source of financing usually cheaper than a private loan. (The Washington Post)

Federal Education Data Show Male-Female Wage Gap Among Young College Graduates Remains High The men who were in full time jobs made $57,800 on average. The women in full time jobs made $47,400 on average. In other words, these women, most of them unmarried and without children, were earning only 82 cents for each dollar that a man was in 2012. (Washington Monthly)

UC appoints Jewish student regent amid controversy For the second time in two years, passions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have entered an unlikely forum: the UC regents’ selection of student representatives on the university governing board. (Los Angeles Times)

Dutch Higher Education Policy Refocuses on Quality In recent years the realization has grown that enrolling more students in universities and higher vocational training brings with it some drawbacks. In the Netherlands, where the government pays most of the cost of tuition, leaders are working on a reform of the financing model for tertiary education. (The New York Times)

Education lobbyist criticizes House bill targeting college sports The bill essentially would result in the U.S. Department of Education making available for all schools — including private schools — the detailed, sport-by-sport revenue and expense data they report to the NCAA every year. It also creates a new set of annual financial disclosures for the NCAA and other college sports entities. (USA Today via University Business)

Most with college STEM degrees go to work in other fields, survey finds The report comes at a time when national educational initiatives and funding are focused on increasing participation and graduation rates in the STEM disciplines, in part because of a belief that the United States is losing ground internationally. (The Washington Post)

Appeals Panel Upholds Race in Admissions for University In a long-running affirmative-action case, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions. (The New York Times)

Turning College Into a No-Thought Zone Speech-zone rules require students to ask permission to do such things as hand out leaflets, collect petition signatures, or give speeches; demand that students apply days or weeks in advance; and corral their activities in tiny areas of the campus, often away from the main pathways and quads. (Bloomberg via NAICU)

U.S. colleges have worked to address ties to slavery, Confederacy  With Washington and Lee University’s announcement Tuesday that it will remove historic Confederate battle flags from the main chamber of Lee Chapel and its acknowledgement of regret for the school’s ties to slavery, the college in Lexington, Va., joined numerous other U.S. colleges that have worked to address their ties to slavery and the Confederacy. (The Washington Post)

Free College Idea Picks Up Momentum The idea of college for free for almost everyone has unexpectedly leapt to the top of the conversation about the ever-rising cost of tuition. Tennessee will make its community colleges free beginning next year. Oregon is moving forward with a study considering the idea. (Washington Monthly)

Minnesota college students graduated last year with slightly less debt than students did the year before, but a state expert says it’s unclear what caused it and whether it’s just a blip.

The state Office of Higher Education put the median debt at $27,300 in 2013, down about $200.

State analyst Tricia Grimes said she has a hunch that awareness of debt may have prompted people to change their thinking.

“Some students may be more leery of taking on debt,” she said, “and some institutions are working harder to try to make sure students understand the consequences of how much they are borrowing.”

Graduates from for-profit colleges had the highest median debt — about $47,000. Students from private, not-for-profit colleges had a median debt of around $28,000.

Those who attended the U and state-run universities had debt of more than $25,000.

The only type of institution to see four-year-degree debt go up last year was the state-run university. There grads saw debt increase by about $100 to $25,400.

Tuition at state-run schools is often lower than that at private colleges and the University of Minnesota.

But Grimes said state-university students “are somewhat more likely to take five or six years to get through. So they end up with similar amounts borrowed overall.”>>

Last year’s data does not include recent tuition freezes and significant increases to the state grant.

Next year’s numbers will, and Grimes says she hopes that will cause debt levels to drop further.

Seventy percent of all Minnesota students borrowed money for college, a number that has remained fairly steady.


In Moody’s U.S. college credit ratings, downgrades far outnumber upgrades Moody’s has downgraded three dozen four-year colleges and universities since July 2013, a sign of continuing financial fragility in higher education. (The Washington Post) Should Colleges Be Able to Determine Costs of Living? There are three potential reasons why other costs included in the costs of attendance Read more

Why we still need affirmative action for African Americans in college admissions Pretending color doesn’t matter doesn’t actually work, and it’s unfair. (The Washington Post) Colleges Keep Increasing Discounts to Keep Students Coming The so-called discount rate—the amount of revenue that goes back out the door in the form of financial aid to fill seats—was projected to have Read more

How to increase socioeconomic diversity in college More resources must be allocated to financial aid. Colleges and universities can make these decisions and commit even greater resources on their own, but the government can also create greater incentives to do so. (The Washington Post) How Fixing Corporate Welfare Might Kill Many For-Profit Schools This latest chapter is Read more