Top stories in higher ed for Thursday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
April 30, 2020
With Decisions Coming Due, Sleepless High School Seniors Worry College May Not Be Worth It
Liz Willen, The Hechinger Report
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Catherine Asiedu had an idyllic vision about going off to college: getting a roommate, attending classes, and meeting new friends. But now, with COVID-19, the 17-year-old is less sure about her future.

High school seniors who planned to go away to college face one of the most difficult decisions of their lives, especially since they don’t know if campuses will open in the fall. If traditional campus life is upended, many may rethink their college plans altogether.

Essential Workers to Get Free College Under New Whitmer Plan
David Jesse, Detroit Free Press
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Essential workers in Michigan who lack a college degree are in for a welcome surprise under a new initiative proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Modeled after the post-World War II G.I. Bill, the "Futures for Frontliners” program aims to provide essential workers with a tuition-free path to college or a technical certificate. Eligible individuals include those staffing hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing personal protective equipment, protecting public safety, or delivering supplies, among others. 

‘Alt-Ed’ Ventures Could Gain Traction in an Uncertain Fall
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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The 2020 fall semester is still a giant question mark just about everywhere, but one thing is certain: As survey after survey shows, students are challenging the idea of paying full price for a less-than-full experience, even if it’s discounted by scholarships.

One possible result is that students will flock to established online providers. Another emerging probability: A host of entrepreneurial ventures—for-profit and nonprofit—will move from the margins of the higher-ed landscape to play a more central role for students.

Idaho Coronavirus School Closures Mean More Teens Now Work Essential Agriculture Jobs
Nicole Foy and Sami Edge, The Idaho Statesman
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While many of their classmates are doing school work at home, three teens walk miles across desolate brown fields in East Idaho picking up rocks. The American Falls High School students spend six days a week scouring the dirt, hauling out stones up to 100 pounds so farmers can plant seeds. 

With Idaho students completing coursework remotely for the foreseeable future, more are filling their days with farm labor and agricultural work. Teens say this is a good way to make money for themselves, or their families, while their schoolwork is flexible and farmers need their help. But educators and farmworker advocates worry it could take a toll on students’ education—or worse, their health.

Opinion: Higher Education's 'To-Do' List—the Consequences of Coronavirus
Glenn C. Altschuler and David Wippman, The Hill
Blog: Community Is the Secret to Successfully Enrolling Students in the Fall
Peter Decherney and Caroline Levander, Education in the Time of Corona
Our Employment System Has Failed Low-Wage Workers. How Can We Rebuild?
Martina Hund-Mejean and Marcela Escobari, Up Front
Professional Certifications Offer Workers With No College Degree a Pathway to Good Jobs
Lumina Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Gallup
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