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 13, 2018
Some Colleges Extend Scholarships and Other Help to Rural High School Grads
Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
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Caught by surprise when frustration among rural Americans spilled over into national politics, and grappling with a years-long decline in enrollment, a few colleges and universities have started paying more attention to rural students. They are recognizing that these students need at least as much help navigating that college experience as low-income, first-generation racial and ethnic minorities from inner cities. 

Encouraging More Women to Pursue Skilled Trades
Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
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There was not a single woman who climbed poles and repaired electric lines in Missouri until Susan Blaser became a journeyman line worker with Kansas City Power and Light in 1992.

Nearly 30 years later, there still are few women line workers in Missouri and across the country, but Blaser, the lead instructor of Metropolitan Community College’s electric utility line technician program, is trying to change this by encouraging more women to consider entering the profession.

Students can earn an associate degree or certificate through the program, which prepares them for careers as meter readers, utility workers, linemen, and wind technicians. The certificate program can be completed in three semesters and the associate degree in four semesters.

Eastern Michigan Aims to Lure Former Students by Swapping Debt for Community Service
Kurt Nagl, Crain's Detroit Business
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Eastern Michigan University has launched a new debt forgiveness program in a bid to help former students earn diplomas while improving the school's enrollment and graduation rates.

The Ypsilanti-based university opened applications this week for a pilot program that would forgive up to $6,000 in debt for students who left the school with outstanding balances and without a degree. The program is the first of its kind for the school and is unique for its focus on community engagement.

This New Jersey Immigrant's Struggle to Attend College
Ashley Okwuosa, WNYC
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When New Jersey's governor signed a law in May giving undocumented immigrant students access to state financial aid for college, Gloria Rodriguez was prepared. The 22-year-old Orange resident had been working toward this moment for nearly a decade, about the same time it had taken the law's supporters to get the bill passed. 

Rodriguez is one of 1,365 undocumented New Jerseyans who applied for the new aid by the first deadline of September 15. That’s a tiny fraction of those who are likely eligible, owing partly to a bumpy roll-out that holds lessons for other states trying to expand access to higher education.

Study Urges Better Post-College Employment Data
LaMont Jones, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Confusion Over Job Placement Rates
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
Who’s Next Streamlines Student Experience at OC
Ruth Campbell, Odessa American
Could the ‘Free’ Community and Technical College Bill Reappear in 2019?
Liz McCormick, West Virginia Public Broadcasting
When Financial Aid Falls Short
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) 
Of Metrics and Markets: Measuring Post-College Employment Success
The Institute for College Access & Success
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