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.
November 14, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
Should Congress Link Higher-Ed Funding to Graduation Rates?
Lanae Erickson and Robert Kelchen, EducationNext
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After decades of slow growth, the share of young Americans completing college increased to 48 percent in 2019, up from 39 percent 10 years earlier. What accounts for the rise? Are more students clearing a meaningful bar for graduation, or are colleges and universities engaging in credential inflation and lowering their academic standards? 

As lawmakers proceed with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, two higher education experts—Lanae Erickson of Third Way and Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall University—debate the use of degree completion as an accountability metric linked to the disbursement of federal funds.

Jamie Merisotis
University of California Will Support Undocumented Students, Even If DACA Ends
Zaidee Stavely, EdSource
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As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether to stop protecting some undocumented immigrants from deportation, the University of California is preparing to support immigrant students, regardless of the outcome, according to UC President Janet Napolitano.

There are an estimated 4,000 undocumented students enrolled in the 10-campus UC system, about 9,500 at California State University’s 23 campuses and about 50,000 to 70,000 in the state’s 115 community colleges. About half of those students are estimated to have DACA status.

Jamie Merisotis
The Latest Innovation in Student Retention at Colleges: ‘Food Scholarships’
Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge
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College kids have a reputation for seeking out free food, and that's why any student organizer knows that ordering pizza is a good way to lure folks to a meeting. But for many students, hunger is a far more serious challenge.

Kat Cowley is the food pantry student coordinator at the University of Montana. In this podcast, she discusses long-term solutions to food insecurity on college campuses, including a new nonprofit program that gives small grants to professors who then use the money to help students with basic necessities.

Jamie Merisotis
A New Study Calculates Return on Investment—40 Years After Enrollment. Here’s What We Learned.
Audrey Williams June, The Chronicle of Higher Education
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College is expensive, and prospective students, their parents, and policy makers want to know: What kind of return can I expect on my investment?

Until now, those seeking answers have been able to evaluate the payoff of a degree as measured by official data on earnings, either one year after graduating or a decade after enrolling. A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce provides an answer on an even longer scale: 40 years.

Acosta: Plan for Tomorrow's Workforce
Alan Pollock, The Cape Cod Chronicle
Higher Ed for More Hispanics
Katherine Lewin, Santa Fe Reporter
How to Get More Rural Students Ready for College? Start With Broadband.
Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Opinion: Mississippi Education Closely Tied to Solid Economic Standing.
Lena Mitchell, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Building Things Made My Education Feel Relevant
David Denis, The Hechinger Report
Opinion: Scholars Strategy Network: Building a Vibrant and Just Maine Economy
Luisa S. Deprez and John Dorrer, Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
Five Facts About Student Loans
Kadija Yilla and David Wessel, Brookings Institution
Commentary: The College Promise Movement: An Update
Martha Kanter, Community College Daily
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