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.
October 11, 2019
Jamie Merisotis
The Rest of America Could Benefit as LA Helps Former Students Earn College Degrees
Juana Hernandez and Wayne Taliaferro, Medium
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Nearly half a million adults in the Los Angeles area have completed some college but didn’t finish their degrees. Nationally, the figure is about 35 million Americans, or roughly 20 percent of the population between 25 and 64. 

Responsibilities at work and at home can make it incredibly challenging for these adults to return to college. This is particularly true for students of color who have historically faced systemic barriers to college completion.

Leaders in Los Angeles are working to help these learners find their way back to school.

Jamie Merisotis
Getting Mileage Out of Free Bus Rides
Joe Wyatt, AACC 21st Century Center
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Elizabeth Hargis spent the first few days of the fall semester walking to the Washington Street campus of Amarillo College in Texas, a necessary daily trek requiring just under an hour of her time. Later, she’d surrender even more precious time while retracing her steps home.

Fortunately, her protracted school days were shortened considerably when Hargis learned about a transportation collaboration between Amarillo College and the city of Amarillo that provides free bus rides for students and employees alike. The effort goes beyond attending classes; it includes access to all bus routes in the city. Students, faculty, and staff just need to show their Amarillo College ID.

Jamie Merisotis
Some Colleges Seek Radical Solutions to Survive
Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report
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In the face of financial and enrollment challenges, more colleges and universities are trying strategies from the business world to stay afloat. 

The efforts are both practical and creative. Some institutions are adding programs tied to real-time workplace demand, including online courses that appeal to people who are balancing their educations with families and work. Others are squeezing small amounts of money from such things as renting out their dorm rooms in the summers on Airbnb, catering weddings, and licensing their logos for products (including, in the case of 48 universities and colleges, caskets and urns).

Jamie Merisotis
Where Four-Year Schools Find a Pool of Applicants: Two-Year Schools
Laura Pappano, The New York Times
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Community colleges are the workhorses of higher education. They don’t charge a lot and they take everybody. It’s why nearly a third of college students in the United States attend one.

Two-year institutions often are treated as places where workers retrain, add technical skills, and earn job certifications. But they also have a quieter role, helping students earn two-year degrees that prepare them to transfer to a four-year college.

Economic Changes Push Need for New Workforce Training
Matt Bittle, Delaware State News (Delaware)
The Answer to Rural Woes Is Far More Than Broadband
Rick Dalton, New England Journal of Higher Education
Essay: A Powerful Message
Robert W. Iuliano, Inside Higher Ed
Can States Meet the Demand for Computer Science Classes?
Kipp Bentley, Center for Digital Education
Report Examines State-Level Funding Practices in Higher Education
Hunter B. Martin, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The Private Sector Weighs In on Pell Grants in Prisons
Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
How to Stop Sudden College Closures
The Century Foundation
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