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.
February 10, 2020
Jamie Merisotis
In Tennessee, Free Public College Has Existed for Years. Could the Rest of the Country Follow?
Kirk Carapezza, WGBH
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College was not on the radar for Eric Bihembo. While growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, he didn't think he could ever afford it. In high school, he was working at a pizza parlor when his guidance counselor first told him about Tennessee's new free community college program.

The opportunity changed his life.

Since Tennessee began offering free community college to new high school graduates in 2014, nearly 88,000 new students have enrolled. Meanwhile, the percentage of residents with a college degree or certificate has risen from 36 percent to 43 percent. 

Jamie Merisotis
Some Colleges Start to Confront a Surprising Reason Students Fail: Too Many Choices
Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
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By the time Rodrigo Chinchon decided to change his major from architecture, he was two years into college and 15 credits behind what he would need for his new choice: international business.

It will take Chinchon an extra semester to earn his degree, and that’s even after he took courses in the summers to catch up. Many other students in his position just drop out.

For generations of young people, going off to college was a step toward independence. But for this generation, a surprising new problem is thwarting their success: too many choices.

Jamie Merisotis
Central Valley Schools Aim to Reduce Poverty Through Job Training
Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado, CalMatters
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On a recent school day in Fresno, 17-year-old Fernando Valero repaired a 32,000-pound diesel truck with failed sensors. Then he crawled under another truck before lifting it with a floor jack. The morning school work left his hands black from grease.

And his day is just getting started.

More and more students in the Fresno Unified School District are taking part in career and technical programs, including medical, manufacturing, and heavy-duty trucking. The pathways expose students to real-world industry work, and some, like Valero, are finding jobs while in school.

Jamie Merisotis
Where You Attend College Could Be Costing You More to Borrow and Refinance Education Loans, Report Says
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post
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Two college students. Same credit profile. Same $10,000 loan. Same bank. The only difference is one attends a community college, while the other is enrolled at a four-year institution. But the community college student is charged more to borrow.

This scenario is at the heart of a report from the Student Borrower Protection Center examining how the use of education data in underwriting private student loans may exacerbate economic and racial inequality.

Driving Past the Naysayers
Nez Savala, Lysa Young-Bates, and Rene Dulle, Community College Daily
Hiring in the Modern Talent Marketplace
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
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