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, 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)


From the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success… “Is it Impossible to Make it Here Anymore?”

From the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success…

Income is widening by education attainment. This recent blog posts states the facts and asks us questions about next steps.


Pell Grant Preserved

On June 14th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill that sets funding levels for key federal education and training programs starting in October 2012. This important decision preserves funding for the Pell Grant, which protects student’s access to financial aid and increases affordability for low-income students. The bill also allocates funding to improve the delivery of job training and education programs. In the long run, this will help low-income students to earn higher wages and land better jobs. For more information, click here.

Oregon High School Seniors Required to Pass Tests

Under Oregon board of education rules, students must show on state assessments that they can read at a level that will serve them in college and on the job. In 2013, graduating seniors will have to show both reading and writing proficiency, and the 2014 graduating class also must pass a math test demonstrating that they won’t need remediation classes when they hit the university. (Salem Statesman Journal, 04/08/12)|topnews|text|News

Oregon College Access Network (OrCAN)

OrCAN recently hosted their annual conference “College Access 2012: Uniting Toward Oregon’s Future”. Session presentations are posted here!

This emerging organization is looking for board members. Find out more about OrCAN, their plans and resources (and to express interest in joining the board) on their website.

April 25 webinar to explore data and research from 2012 Grad Nation report

The national high school graduation rate increased from 72.6 percent in 2002 to 75.5 percent in 2009, according to the 2012 update to the Building a Grad Nation report from Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. On April 25 from 2-3pm ET, report authors Robert Balfanz of the Everyone Graduates Center and John Bridgeland of Civic Enterprises will conduct an in-depth webinar on the data and research from the report. more

AT&T Announces Quarter-Billion-Dollar Expansion of Education Commitment

AT&T Announces Quarter-Billion-Dollar Expansion of Education Commitment
The AT&T Aspire Local High School Impact Initiative RFP is focused on high school success and college and career readiness programs that are consistent with AT&T’s commitment to support local organizations that are delivering results that help reduce the dropout rates in their communities.

Social innovation goes beyond traditional philanthropy – which typically involves only charitable giving – to also engage people and technology to bring different approaches, new solutions and added resources to challenging social problems.

RFP Information
The 2012 Local Impact RFP will provide project support for currently operating high school retention programs comprised of elements aligned to the What Works Clearinghouse Dropout Prevention Practice Guide. The support should be used to expand the program to serve additional students, or to add components to strengthen the program.

Must be capable of operating by the first semester of the 2012/13 school year. Payments ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 for 24 months (2012/14) are available.