Lynn Mahaffie, acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, has directed postsecondary institutions to accept other forms of information about families' tax returns as part of students' applications for financial aid. The guidance follows a decision by the IRS and US Department of Education to disable an online tool that FAFSA applicants had used to upload tax-return information.
To increase enrollment in vocational training, colleges and universities must do more to boost both the reputation and gender parity of the programs, say leaders meeting at the annual American Association of Community Colleges conference. They say more partnerships with business and encouraging more women to enroll are necessary steps.
Twenty-one state attorneys general have written a letter to US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos complaining about her recent move to rescind student-loan protections formed under former President Barack Obama. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement that removing the reforms may enable "the student loan servicing industry to manipulate and exploit students."
Kristina Johnson has been chosen to be the chancellor of the State University of New York system, taking over from Nancy Zimpher, who has led the 64-campus system since 2009. Johnson is a former undersecretary in the US Energy Department and an engineer who helped develop technology for 3D glasses.
Some colleges such as San Diego State University offer extra supports to students who are military veterans and report higher-than-average graduation rates for such students. However, federal data reveal widely varying graduation rates at some public community colleges among student veterans receiving GI Bill money.
Artificial intelligence will bring enormous change to higher education, including increased personalized learning and faculty transitioning from the role of instructor to researcher, says Joseph Qualls of the University of Idaho. In this Q&A, Qualls says educators may become less student-oriented over the next 20 years as AI takes over.
Community colleges in places such as California and Ohio are implementing similar versions of the City University of New York's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or ASAP, that already has nearly doubled graduation rates at CUNY after three years. The program provides financial incentives, plus extra academic support to encourage students to finish their degree.
Whittier College in California is closing its fully accredited law school following low bar passage rates and falling enrollment for first-year students. Other schools are seeing similar trends and may follow Whittier's example, Paul Campos, a professor at Colorado Law School, predicts.
A decline in community-college enrollment appears to be leveling off in Wyoming, after a nearly 7% decline in 2014, suggests Jim Rose, head of the Community College Commission. Declines again may be possible in the future, Rose said, as the pool of high-school graduates shrinks and tuition rises.
University of Oregon President Michael Schill says layoffs and other cuts in spending will be implemented to shave $4.5 million from the 2017-18 budget. Schill said rising personnel costs and decreased state funding have caused much of the budget deficit.
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