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.
February 20, 2020
Jamie Merisotis
HBCUs Are Trying to Spare Graduates From Crushing Student Loan Debt. It’s Not Easy.
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post
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Melinda Allen could easily have fallen through the cracks at any college or university. She took time off from school when her parents died, exhausted all of her federal grant aid, owed unpaid tuition, and became a mother when she was two years shy of graduation.

Academic advisers and professors at Dillard University refused to let Allen give up. A financial aid officer at the historically black university urged Allen, 29, to apply for a school grant designed to keep students like her from flaming out.

Dillard, like many HBCUs, is fighting to help its students reduce the need to borrow and keep them from joining the scores of Americans with debt and no degree. But how can schools with few financial resources help students in the same boat?

Jamie Merisotis
I Am a Dreamer in Medical School and I Am in Legal Limbo. The Supreme Court Holds My Fate.
The Tennessean
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DACA. Four letters that hold so much weight and the future of thousands.

Scherly Gomez is a graduate of Lipscomb University. She also is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. With the help of a local nonprofit, Equal Chance for Education, she is pursuing her dream of a career in medicine as a third-year medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. 

In this commentary, Gomez contemplates her future if she loses the authorization that allows her to live and work in the United States.

Jamie Merisotis
To Pay for College, More Students Are Promising a Piece of Their Future to Investors
Caroline Preston, The Hechinger Report
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In 2017, Lauren Neuwirth sank into a chair in Purdue University’s financial aid office. Already working two jobs to cover her living expenses, Neuwirth was quickly running through the money her mother had set aside for college. Federal student loans only covered some of her tuition. Her future was uncertain. 

But then Purdue offered Neuwirth another way to pay. Investors—including wealthy alumni, a hedge fund, and the Purdue Research Foundation—would front her $50,000 to cover two years of college. In exchange, she’d owe them 14.8 percent of whatever income she earned in the eight years after she graduated. Neuwirth agreed, and the arrangement—known as an income-share agreement—became part of her college financing strategy. 

Jamie Merisotis
Lumina Announces Grants to 9 States to Advance Quality and Equity in Post-High School Learning
Debra Humphreys and Terri Taylor, Lumina Foundation
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Lumina Foundation is supporting efforts in nine states as part of a new national grant program to help develop next-generation approaches to higher-education quality assurance and improvement.

Using a variety of approaches, each of the nine projects has prioritized serving today’s students better by addressing inequities in their systems. All are seeking to design or implement new systems that will use better data to approve new college programs and review the quality of existing ones. 

Career Technical Centers Give Students a Leg-Up on Future
Pat Crossley, Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Blog: We Wrote a Book
Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, Learning Innovation
Institutionalizing Support for College Students Impacted by Foster Care
Dr. Royel Johnson, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Achieving the Dream Announces New Racial Equity Leadership Academy
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
The Lasting Benefits of Early College High Schools
American Institutes for Research
Skills for Good Jobs: Agenda 2020
National Skills Coalition
A Top-Down/Bottom-Up Approach to Statewide Change
Community College Research Center
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