College Access and Success News from Education Commission of the States

Thanks to Education Commission of the States for their on-going headlines!

Student Debt Stretches to Record 1 in 5 Households
With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households, with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor. The analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 22.4 million households, or 19%, had college debt in 2010. That is up from 15% in 2007 and represents the biggest three-year increase in student debt in more than two decades. (Boston Globe, 09/27/12)

College Students Often Pay Less than Sticker Price
A National Center for Education Statistics report shows a wide gap between the average price and the amount that first-time students actually paid for college in 2010-11. At a four-year public institution, for example, the average price before financial aid was listed as $17,600, while the net price, after subtracting grant aid was $11,000. (Education Week, premium article access compliments of edweek.org, 09/26/12)

Public Colleges Pledge to Raise Number of Graduates, and Seek Help in Doing So
Nearly 500 of the nation’s public four-year colleges have committed to increasing the number of baccalaureate-degree holders by 3.8 million by 2025. But the colleges need help from the federal and state governments to reach that goal, say higher education leaders. In signing on to the Project Degree Completion, the institutions are promising to do their part to help 60% of adults earn a college degree by 2025. (Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/02/12)

Perry Pushing Tuition Freeze, $10,000 Degrees
Texas Governor Rick Perry stepped up his calls to freeze tuition for four years for incoming college freshmen and to link 10% of an institution’s state funding to graduation rates and other performance measures. In outlining his higher education initiatives, Perry also called for more transparency so that students and families will know the full cost of delaying progress to graduation. (Austin American-Statesman, 10/01/12)

Mr. MOOC Comes to Washington
The Department of Education hosted higher education leaders and “disrupters” for a discussion on how the federal government can encourage the more efficient production of college degrees. A recurring theme was that higher education policy is a balancing act of encouraging innovation and safeguarding investments. And while the feds have plenty of influence, it has only the “blunt instruments” of financial aid programs to actually tell colleges what to do. (Inside Higher Ed, 10.02.12)

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