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President Obama's College Affordability/ Accountability Proposals

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Benedictine University to Lay Off 75, End Undergraduate Program for Traditional Students

State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
October 24, 2014

Benedictine University at Springfield will be laying off about 75 of its 100 full-time employees next year when it ends its undergraduate program for students who are just out of high school. Michael Bromberg, president of the Catholic university, said Benedictine will be focusing on programs for nontraditional students. 

Affluent Students Borrowing More for College

CBS Moneywatch
October 24, 2014

It's well known that young Americans have had to take on massive amounts of student loans to pay for the soaring cost of college. More surprising is that borrowing over the last two decades has risen the fastest among affluent families. Half of 2012 college graduates who come from high-income families borrowed money for college, double the rate that did so in 1992, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

Duty While Students Are Abroad

Inside Higher Ed
October 24, 2014

A group of influential education organizations has stepped in to support a private prep school in its appeal against a former student, saying the case could have far-reaching negative effects on study abroad trips.

Why Elite Universities Should Admit More Community College Grads

Washington Post - Presidential Opinion
October 24, 2014

C.L. Max Nikias, President, University of Southern California writes: A 2006 study — the last to comprehensively examine this topic — found that fewer than one of every 1,000 students at the nation’s most selective private institutions is a community college transfer. But at USC last year, on a campus of 18,000 undergraduates, we accepted 824 highly qualified community college transfers. USC has had this policy in place for decades to attract qualified students, particularly those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. The results have been compelling, and we have increased our efforts as a result — admitting 13 percent more community college graduates in 2013 than we did in 2007.

Campus Counseling Centers Face a Question: Where Are All the Men?

Chronicle of Higher Education
October 24, 2014

Male college students are far less likely to use campus mental-health services than female students are. In fact, campus counseling centers treat almost two women for every man, according to a recent study.

Reducing Student Debt Requires a National Commitment

Baltimore Sun - Commentary
October 23, 2014

Jonathan Gibralter writes: Tonight, as families of high school students across the country sit down to eat dinner, talk will likely turn to college applications. For those in the midst of the process, the conversation will almost definitely touch on affordability. And for those still a year or two out from college, the conversation may turn to whether or not the entire undertaking is even worth it. These topics are directly related. As an industry, higher education cannot hope to put to rest questions about value until we accept — and address — the challenges we face on affordability.

College Helps Students Dream of More Than a Salary

USA Today - Presidential Opinion
October 23, 2014

Drew Faust, President, Harvard University writes: From the earliest days of our country, we have seen education as the foundation for democracy and citizenship, for social mobility and national prosperity. Higher education opens minds and opens doors. Yet high school students and families are increasingly questioning its value. Is investing in a college or university education still worth it? The short answer is "yes."

Addressing the Student Debt Crisis: We Can Do More to Encourage Responsible Borrowing

Huffington Post - Commentary
October 23, 2014

Dr. Robert Mendenhall writes: We are all aware of the growing student loan crisis -- $1.2 trillion in student loans, alarming default rates and average debt amounts rising every year. While Washington is working to find ways to alleviate the burden of staggering student debt, and some institutions are experimenting with innovative ways -- like competency-based education -- to make college more affordable, we must also do more to encourage responsible borrowing.

Would Free College Tuition Work in the U.S.?

Credit.com, Blog
October 23, 2014

Mitchell D. Weiss writes: Tuition-price increases consistently outpace the rate of personal-income growth, which explains why education-debt levels are not just rising—they’ve reached the point where student loan payments are crowding out life for many borrowers. What’s more, as some schools choose to relax their admission standards in favor of filling otherwise empty seats, higher education’s roughly 50% completion rate is destined to decline even further.

Xavier Receives $19.6 Million Grant to Expand Biomedical Programs, Aid Students

Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
October 23, 2014

Xavier University of Louisiana has received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand the school's number of biomedical programs and increase the number of minority students who go on to graduate from PhD and MD-PhD programs.  The award is part of a $240 million investment by the NIH involving more than 10 institutions around the country called Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative.

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