Top stories in higher ed for Monday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
August 12, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
A Few Universities Help Black and Hispanic Students Reach and Finish Graduate School
Melba Newsome, The Hechinger Report
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When it comes to graduate school, the odds tend to be stacked against students like Josiah Hardy. It's not for lack of qualifications or ambition. Instead, it's because they’re Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. In many instances, they are the first in their families to go to college, can’t afford expensive graduate educations, and have little help navigating the route to an advanced degree.

“It’s so hard to get into graduate school because the path to get there is like a secret that’s only given to certain people,” says Hardy, who is Black. “If you don’t have guidance or a mentorship or any example of people who’ve done it, there’s no way you can know that.”

Several graduate schools are stepping up with efforts that make a big impact on students' success. This includes financial help, mentoring, and more. 

Jamie Merisotis
New Morehouse Program Addresses Student Loan Debt
LaMont Jones, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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Morehouse College is launching a new fundraising and research initiative to help graduates pursue advanced degrees, start careers, and build wealth without being burdened by undergraduate student loan debt.

As part of the effort, Morehouse will study the impact of the cost of higher education on students and the freedom of choice that alumni experience in their careers when their student loan balances are paid in full or reduced to manageable levels.

Jamie Merisotis
The Expensive and Absolutely Necessary Pursuit of Rural Students
Andrew Koricich, The EvoLLLution
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Admissions recruiters rarely visit smaller, rural schools, and those recruiters who do tend to be from more access-oriented institutions. It’s less common for public flagship universities and major private institutions to maintain a regular presence in rural high schools.

Recruiters tend to ignore rural students because it’s less cost-effective than reaching out to large, urban high schools. But for institutions committed to inclusivity, it’s worth spending the money—or demanding the funding—to give rural students a fair shake.

Jamie Merisotis
At Hearing on Financial Aid Scandal, Lawmakers Grill Officials and Look to Close a Loophole
Melissa Sanchez and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois
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Saying they need to “get to the bottom of this injustice,” Illinois lawmakers grilled university and state financial aid officials late last week about how to prevent families from exploiting guardianship laws to obtain need-based college financial aid they wouldn’t otherwise receive.

At a packed hearing in Chicago, more than a dozen members of the Illinois House discussed possible reforms. Among the ideas presented: tweaking state laws, educating judges who sign off on questionable guardianship changes, and denying college admission to students whose families have exploited legal loopholes for financial gain. 

The Rise of the Microcredential
Hallie Busta, Education Dive
Commentary: Don’t Ignore Tech Component of Talent Attraction
Tom Miller, Indianapolis Business Journal
Why Don’t More Women Earn Computer Science Degrees?
Jennie Kroeger, Community College Daily
Spurlock Seeks Improved Outcomes for First-Generation Students
Courtney Borchert, Odessa American (Texas)
A Long, Tough Road From Foster Care to Ph.D. Studies
Pearl Stewart, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Essay: When Free Isn't Really Free
Claude Pressnell Jr., Inside Higher Ed
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