Top stories in higher ed for Tuesday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
August 21, 2018
Changing Class: Are Colleges Helping Americans Move Up?
Sasha Aslanian and Emily Hanford, APM Reports
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College remains the best opportunity to realize the American Dream. But research suggests that chances for students from poor families to move up through higher education are shrinking. Elite colleges still don't admit many students from poor backgrounds, and public universities are under increasing financial pressure to enroll wealthier students who can afford full tuition. Students from poor families are being shut of the best opportunity they have to move up.

Some institutions are trying to change this trajectory, however, and help more kids from poor backgrounds get ahead. They're spending millions more on financial aid each year, investing in academic and social support, and expanding partnerships with community organizations that identify promising students from low-income families.

It's All About the Community
Iris Palmer, New America
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When Monica Shoemaker walked across the stage at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in June, she earned her associate degree against the odds. After facing disability, addiction, and abuse, what made the difference for Shoemaker was a community of support at the college that invested in her personal and professional growth. And she’s not done yet.

In the fall, Shoemaker will start her Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Behavioral Health at Lake Washington. This sense of belonging for students who have been successful at a two-year college can be a powerful driver for continuing their education at the same college. For them, access means offering the degree they need for the career they are pursuing at their home institution.
Podcast: High School to JP Morgan in Seven Seconds: How Businesses Gain an Edge by Providing Ladders of Opportunity
Joseph B. Fuller, American Enterprise Institute
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There is a deep chasm separating the millions of Americans with limited access to college degrees from professional life. Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up, describes how his organization steps into this void, erecting ladders of opportunity to well-paying jobs while supplying leading businesses like Microsoft and JP Morgan with talent that would otherwise go overlooked. 
Hope and Worry, By the Numbers
Ruth Hammond, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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One of the central questions explored in the 2018 issue of the Almanac of Higher Education is whether colleges have made significant progress on diversity in the past several years. The answer is mixed.

In general, colleges are getting closer to having a majority of minorities. Another reason for encouragement in the higher-education sector is that the number of men, long underrepresented among college students, grew from 2010 to 2016 by more than 12,000. At the same time, significant disparities exist for women when it comes to bearing the financial burden of going to college. 

States Attempt Closing Racial Gaps to Improve Graduation
Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
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More than 40 states have set goals to increase the number of adults who have a college degree or high-quality professional credential within the next few years. But far fewer states have set goals and created policies to close racial equity gaps in pursuit of higher college graduation rates.

Some states, including Indiana, that did take steps to close these gaps are seeing progress after following through on specific set goals. 
Thomas College Aims to Prepare First-Generation Students, Help Ease Skills Gap
Rachel Ohm, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel (Maine)
Opinion: Arizona's Future Depends Upon Better Educational Achievement
Rachel Yanof and Jalyn Gerlich, White Mountain Independent
Commentary: College Is Key to Attaining the American Dream
Juliette Landphair,
New Jersey to Its Students: Please Don’t Go
Peter Monaghan, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Five Key Questions About NYU’s Tuition-Free Policy for Medical School
Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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