Top stories in higher ed for Friday
Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
January 31, 2020
Jamie Merisotis
Don’t Send ACT/SAT Scores to Northern Illinois U. It Just Went ‘Test-Blind.’
Eric Hoover, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Earlier this week, officials at Northern Illinois University announced plans to stop using standardized-test scores in all general-admission and merit-scholarship decisions. 

Many colleges have adopted test-optional policies, which allow applicants to decide whether to submit ACT or SAT scores. But Northern Illinois is going a step further. Starting in the fall of 2021, the university’s new “test-blind” policy will cut tests out of the picture on the Dekalb, Ill., campus.

In this interview, the university’s director of admissions describes the bottom-line reason for the policy change: The tests weren’t helping predict student success.

Jamie Merisotis
Arizona State University Students Embrace and Profess Their Love to a Chatbot Named Sunny
Rachel Leingang, Arizona Republic
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What might be the most popular communicator at Arizona State University (ASU) has sent more than 3 million texts to about 75,000 people.

Meet Sunny, an artificially intelligent chatbot that ASU uses to communicate with current and future students to help recruit and retain them on campus.

Many colleges use text messages to alert students. ASU's Sunny is different: It uses artificial intelligence to learn and respond to questions or concerns when students text back.

Jamie Merisotis
How Colleges Are Making Work-Study Programs More Equitable
Sara Weissman, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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Many students turn to work-study programs as a way to pay for college. Too often, however, these programs involve little professional development to help students prepare for careers. Unpaid internships frequently do, but they don’t pay the bills.

What if work-study wasn’t just about paying for college? What if it was a more intentional part of a student’s education?

Colleges and universities are increasingly asking these very questions. And as a result, some are developing innovative models to make on-campus employment a path to post-graduation jobs.

Jamie Merisotis
New Book Suggests Big Changes for Small Colleges
Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge
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For almost a decade, Mary Marcy has been president of Dominican University of California. What began 130 years ago as a religious school for women now serves about 1,750 co-ed students, many of them first-generation.

Marcy’s work to help the liberal arts college attract and serve new kinds of students inspired her to write a book about the ways other small colleges are responding to today’s economic pressures and demographic changes. In this interview, she discusses why some schools end up merely tweaking their traditions while others morph into online behemoths.

More States Address Apprenticeship Policies
Matthew Dembicki, Community College Daily
Report Affirms Value of Associate Degrees, Certificates
Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily
Opinion: Bringing Degree Completion Within Reach for More Adults
Mary Ellen Caro, Buck County Courier Times
Opinion: Why Students Quit College
John Newsom, Greensboro News & Record
Realizing Dreams and Filling Jobs
Anne Kress and Todd Rowley, Virginia Business Magazine (Virginia)
Who Owes All That Student Debt? And Who’d Benefit If It Were Forgiven?
Adam Looney, David Wessel, and Kadija Yilla, Brookings Institution
UD to Provide Free College Courses for High School Students
Brooke Schultz, Delaware State News (Delaware)
Gov. Tony Evers Creates Student Debt Task Force
Alana Watson, Wisconsin Public Radio (Wisconsin)
Blog: Legislation to Improve Access to Financial Aid Passes Committee
Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line (Kentucky)
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