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.

News Clippings – May 2012

Chemeketa Community College: College, Yes You Can
Middle school students and their families are invited to attend “College: Yes You Can,” a free, bilingual informational event aimed at exploring students’ college and career options.

Chemeketa Community College: Free Speech Zones Attract Attention
Students are allowed free speech opportunities anywhere on campus, but organizations and community members must use the Free Speech Zone. Peter Starr, Chemeketa’s civic engagement coordinator, said, “I think it is important that we as an educational institution embrace controversial issues and try to have a scholarly, objective conversation about them on campus.”

Chemeketa- Spring into Giving Campaign Hopes to End Hunger
Skye Hibbard, Chemeketa’s AmeriCorps VISTA food relief coordinator, organized a campus-wide food drive. She said, “We have had to double the space devoted to the food pantry in the Office of Student Retention and College Life, and the shelves are full. Even as items were coming in waves, they were being taken home by students in bags to feed themselves and their families. So thank you for your generosity. It is much needed and much appreciated.”

Concordia University 2012 Grads Define Success by Service
Graduates from the class of 2012 are more geographically diverse than ever before, hailing from 41 states and five countries. Rigorous coursework and service learning continue to be emphasized throughout the university’s curriculum and programs as an expression of its Lutheran identity.

George Fox University: GFU Ranks Among Top 40 Study-Abroad Schools
With more than half of the university’s traditional undergraduates experiencing an overseas study experience before graduation, George Fox ranks among the top 40 schools in the nation in the percentage of students who study abroad. George Fox also was among the top five Christian colleges in study abroad participation.

Lane Community College: Students Oppose Tuition Hike
From 1982 to 2007, the cost of college has increased 439 percent (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education). In response, Senator Ron Wyden has said, “Students are fearful in a way that I’ve never seen before.” Learn more about Lane students’ concerns and what they’re doing to advocate for affordable education.

Lewis & Clark: Fulbright Program Honors Eight from Lewis & Clark
Lewis & Clark College is one of the top producers of Fulbright award winners in the country, demonstrating a sustained commitment to international education and engagement. This year, eight Lewis & Clark students have been selected for this prestigious award.

Lewis & Clark: President’s Student Engagement Scholarship Winners Announced
The president honored two sophomores for their exemplary engagement with liberal arts inside and outside the classroom. President Glassner explained that the sophomore year is a time when college students are sometimes tempted to disengage. The award is meant to recognize students who are especially vigorous in their engagement with the full liberal arts experience and to encourage them in their continued devotion to that endeavor.

Linfield College: College is Possible for Latino Youth
100 Latino high school students traveled to Linfield for their first taste of college. “Many Latino youth don’t see themselves going to college” said the event organizer, Eloina Franco. “They’re not comfortable with the idea, but when you bring them to a college campus, they meet other students who look just like themselves. They don’t believe it’s possible until they see it can become a reality. Knowledge is power.”

Linfield, Afghani Student Debate via Skype
Rachel Mills, 2011 Linfield graduate, has been helping organize Skype debates between students in McMinnville and students in Afghanistan. Learn how students are utilizing technology to connect cultures.

Portland Community College- National Science Foundation gives PCC nearly $600,000 for STEM Scholarships
The National Science Foundation has awarded Portland Community College a four-year grant award of $599,384 for scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related programs. The aim is to continue to boost the number of educated and skilled technology workers who are women and minorities in these related career fields.

Portland State University: Oregon’s Nonprofits are a $13 Billion Industry
Portland State University released a new report that confirms what the local nonprofit world has known for some time; they’re a major contributor to Oregon’s economy. “We had an idea it was that big, but this report confirmed it in a more scientific way,” says Carrie Hoops, executive director of the nonprofit association. Find out what this means in Oregon.

Princeton Review Names Oregon Schools Among List of Greenest Colleges
Congratulations to Linfield College, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, University of Oregon, and the University of Portland.

Southern Oregon University: Deepens Commitment to Sustainability
SOU is now a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). “Becoming a member institution of AASHE is the next step forward, providing students, staff, and faculty access to valuable resources to further foster sustainability efforts on campus and in the community.” said Roxane Beigel-Coryell, SOU’s new Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator.

Southern Oregon University Begins Largest Construction Project in City’s History
The university broke ground on a $40 million student housing project that is expected to provide the city a major economic boost. City officials say the project will provide as many as 200 jobs for local contractors and draw more students.

Southern Oregon University: Student Wins “Conservationist of the Year” Award
Misty Munoz launched a campus-wide waste management program last September through her Environmental Studies’ capstone project. She launched a program that implemented a recycling center on campus, indoor and outdoor recycling bins in every building, a full-time recycling coordinator, and student assistants. “Hopefully this will put SOU on the path to having zero waste in five years,” said Munoz.

University of Oregon: ASUO President-elect Promises Student Leaders More Opportunities
ASUO President-elect, Laura Hinman, is planning a restructuring of the ASUO Executive for her term in office. She intends to add more positions in order to create more opportunities for student leaders. “Most of the purpose behind this change is to create more transparency and clarity,” Hinman said. Check out what this will mean for the campus.

University of Portland: Hall of Fame Football Coach Delivers Commencement Speech
Legendary football coach, Lou Holtz, delivered commencement to 803 undergraduates. Holtz offered the graduates humor, inspiration, and advice, “You want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. You want to be happy for a day, play golf. You want to be happy for a week, go on a cruise – going on a cruise is like being in jail except you have the chance to drown. You want to be happy for a month buy a new car. You want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. You want to be happy for a lifetime, make sure you add value to other people’s lives.”

University of Portland: Six Seniors Awarded Fulbrights
Six UP seniors will go abroad this fall to teach, study, and conduct research through grants they received from the Fulbright Commission. Meet the graduates, where they’re going, and what they’re excited about.

Warner Pacific College: Supporting Portland’s Emerging Entrepreneurs
Warner Pacific College is proud to partner with the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Public Charter High School (LÊP High) to host Start-Up PDX, a conference for emerging entrepreneurs. The city-wide event will be held on June 23, 2012 at Warner Pacific College and is designed to educate, empower, and support new and aspiring small-business owners in Portland, Oregon.

Warner Pacific College: Warner Gives City a Lesson in Neighborly Skills
Warner is on the rise. The campus is celebrating booming enrollment, diverse students, cooperation with the community, and more. The president of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities tips his hat to the President of Warner, Andrea Cook for her “sensational leadership”. Read more to learn what the buzz is about.

Willamette: Campus Life Honors and Awards Ceremony
The annual event celebrated a variety of achievements, including intramural athlete of the year, leadership and the most outstanding programs and events hosted by campus organizations. ORCC’s 2011-2012 Student Advisory Board Member, Kaitlin Greene was honored for her “Outstanding Leadership” within community service learning. Congratulations Kaitlin!

News Clippings – Week of April 9

Lewis & Clark: National Science Foundation Honors Alumni for Leadership Potential
Two Lewis & Clark alumni received prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships for demonstrating promise as leaders in their fields. The NSF offers fellows three years of support for graduate studies, investing in the education of outstanding students who have the potential to contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

Marylhurst University: “Mayor Judie” Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Judie Hammerstad, former mayor of Lake Oswego, received the Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill Korach, superintendent of the Lake Oswego School District said, “Judie certainly knows about the joys and challenges of being a community leader — taking initiative, being accountable, caring deeply, giving back. She is a great example of the passion, heart, commitment and assertive spirit that it takes to be an outstanding leader in public service.”

Multnomah University: Awards Distinguished Alumni
Multnomah University honored Benjamin Vegors as the 2012 Alumnus of the Year and Jonathan Collins as the 2012 Distinguished Young Alumnus. These awards are given annually and mark the highest honor Multnomah University bestows on Alumni. After being nominated by their peers recipients are chosen based on meeting two main criteria – their lives should exemplify Christ’s work and should reflect the values of Multnomah’s mission.

Oregon State University: Annual Earth Day “Sunday Skool – Hoo Haa!”
The festivities, sponsored by Oregon State University’s Organic Growers Club, will be on the grounds of the student-run organic farm on the outskirts of Corvallis. Attendees are invited to tour the two-acre farm, enjoy local musical talent, and stay for dinner, which will be prepared with produce from the farm.

Portland Community College: AmeriCorps Volunteer Gives PCC a Hand
“My work here is to mobilize volunteers and develop partnerships with our community partners whose focus is to alleviate poverty and serve the needs of families and individuals who are low income,” said ORCC AmeriCorps Member Nicole Herbert. Herbert is serving the Office of Service-Learning to create community partnerships, coordinate co-curricular service programs, engage student leaders in service, and increase awareness of community needs around poverty alleviation.

Portland State University: An Earthy Celebration
Portland State University’s Environmental Club kicks off Earth Week by encouraging a campus discussion on sustainability. Each day will have its own theme, ending with a final festival on Friday. “We’re using the old elements—earth, wind, water, fire and heart—as a way to narrow down the dialogue during each day,” said Kirk Rea, the club’s logistics coordinator.

Southern Oregon University: Spring Term’s Discussion of Civility
With the presidential election on the horizon and the current state of our public discourse, SOU celebrates the opportunity to discuss civility in 2011-2012. The goal is for the campus to engage in rigorous intellectual conversation about this important question, informed by the latest research, scholarship, and insights from several different areas.

University of Portland: Nursing Students Participate in Poverty Simulation
Nursing students from the University of Portland recently gathered to discover the harsh reality of poverty. Through an intensive one-day program, 146 students participated in a poverty simulation that was designed to the stark realities of poverty as well as to promote discussion among the nursing students. “The simulation was a real effective learning tool for the nursing students,” senior and student coordinator Allison Ramsay said. “The simulation parallels what happens in real life and we were able to get a taste of what people are going through.”

Warner Pacific University: New Creative Video From Act Six Scholars Released
Check out how Warner’s Act Six Scholars are making a difference. Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. The scholars are working to co-create solutions that will address the campus and community’s most pressing issues.

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