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.
December 12, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
‘I Can Take a Failing Grade,’ But Not Homelessness: The Hard Choices Some Detroit Students Make for College Success
Lori Higgins, Chalkbeat Detroit
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During her freshman year at Michigan State University, financial challenges left Myla Smith and other students from low-income backgrounds working as many hours as possible to bring in the cash needed to live. Financial aid simply wasn’t enough.

Smith, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, was one of four college students and recent college graduates who took part in a panel discussion about college success—and the resources that many students need to survive and thrive on campus.

Jamie Merisotis
Reports Question Merits of Free Community College Programs
Pearl Stewart, Divers Issues in Higher Education
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As the concept of free four-year college tuition gradually picks up steam, aided by spirited debate among Democratic presidential contenders, free tuition at community colleges has been spreading at a quicker pace. Currently, 19 states offer free tuition at their public community colleges and several other states are in the process of establishing such programs.

Meanwhile, some scholars and education policy analysts are questioning whether two-year institutions and the students they serve—especially those most in need—actually benefit from free- tuition programs.

Jamie Merisotis
Missouri’s HBCUs Face Challenges Keeping Pace in Higher Education
Andrea Henderson, St. Louis Public Radio
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Waiel Turner, 20, was not planning on going to college. He thought about entering the U.S. Air Force or becoming a police officer for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

Enrolling at Harris-Stowe State University was strictly by happenstance.

Like many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Harris-Stowe is struggling to keep its tight-knit family of students and staff together in the face of shaky finances and relative lack of state resources. 

Jamie Merisotis
Scrutiny of Colleges That Get Billions in GI Bill Money Remains Mired in Bureaucracy
Jasper Craven, The Hechinger Report
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Richard Baca joined the New Mexico National Guard for the education benefits promised to him through the GI Bill. But after returning from two deployments to Iraq, he became mired in difficulties with a for-profit university. For now, he has given up on getting a degree. 

Baca is far from alone. As veterans try to get higher educations, many complain that no one is looking out for them. Veterans’ educational counseling is virtually nonexistent, and oversight efforts are largely left to state agencies that are underfunded and overly reliant on self-reporting by the institutions themselves.

Skill Shapes: A New Way to Talk About Workforce Needs
Ramona Schindelheim, WorkingNation
Youth Apprentices Prepare for Healthcare Careers
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
Blog: The Hidden Costs of Wasted Talent: Part 2
Peter Smith, Confessions of a Community College Dean
The Widening Racial Gap on Jobs and Wealth
Anne Kim, Washington Monthly
Study Spotlights Outcomes for Community College Transfer Students
Lois Elfman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Opinion: We're Working to Help More Black Students Graduate College
Zaldwaynaka "Z" Scott, Crain's Chicago Business
Letters to the Editor: Colleges in Rural Areas Must Do More to Recruit Local Students
Christopher Jacobsen, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Choice of Michigan College Can Make a (Million-Dollar) Difference
Ron French and Mike Wilkinson, Bridge Michigan
Moving Past Loan Default Rates: Experts Discuss Additional Accountability Metrics to Improve Student Success
Hunter Martin, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Confusion Still Reigns Over Student Aid. Here’s Why.
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Commentary: The Free-College Fantasy
Kevin Carey, The Chronicle Review
Getting There II: A Statewide Progress Report on Implementation of AB 705
The Campaign for College Opportunity and the California Acceleration Project 
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