Category Archives: Government

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Does State Support Have ‘Weak’ Connection to Tuition? Association Begs to Differ

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities is arguing against the implications of a new report from the American Enterprise Institute about the relationship between state funding for higher education and rising tuition at public colleges and universities.

The report, “Pennies on the Dollar: The Surprisingly Weak Relationship Between State Subsidies and College Tuition,” says state disinvestment in higher education has played a small role in the increasing cost of tuition. And th…

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Calif. Lawmaker Drops Key Provision From Bill That Angered Religious Colleges

A state senator in California has dropped a key provision from a bill he had introduced that drew the ire of many religious colleges, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, said that he decided to remove a provision that would have allowed gay and transgender students to sue their colleges more easily if they had been disciplined for conduct that violated church teachings, according to the newspaper. Senator Lara said he would pursue an amended version of the bill, which…

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Financial-Aid Offices Continue to Experience Resource Shortages

Report: “2015 Administrative Burden Survey”

Organization: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Summary: Following up on a similar effort several years back, the association surveyed its members to determine the resource shortages they face, the causes of those shortages, and their impact on students. The survey found, among other things, that:

  • 6 percent of respondents said their office had faced a “severe” resource shortage over the past five years, while 41 percent said…
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What Really Happened to Year-Round Pell Grants

Report: “Myths & Misunderstandings: The Undeserved Legacy of Year-Round Pell Grants”

Authors: Jason Delisle, director of the federal education-budget project, and Ben Miller, research director for higher education, both at the New America Foundation

Organization: New America Foundation

Summary: Legend holds that the year-round Pell Grant program, which enabled needy students to take classes throughout the year, was a victim of poor execution, faulty budget estimates, or abuse by colleges.

The pr…

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Cutoff of Financial Aid Is Possible at Pima Community College

A federal audit, citing poor record keeping by Pima Community College, has put the Arizona institution at risk of losing its ability to distribute financial aid.

In a preliminary report, the Department of Education found that the college, which enrolls about 33,000 students, lacks a reliable way to keep track of the attendance or even enrollment status of aid recipients, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

As a result, the department could deny the college access to further federal financial aid and…

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Colleges Are Cutting Back on Credit-Card Deals, Report Says

Colleges have continued to embark on fewer agreements with credit-card companies, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s annual report on the agreements, released on Monday. They have instead opted to participate in the marketing of products that are subject to less scrutiny, like debit cards and prepaid cards, the report states.

The report is the fifth to be issued since passage of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which requires college…

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Audit Finds Education Dept. Lacks Plan to Fight Student-Loan Defaults

The Education Department “does not have a comprehensive plan or strategy to prevent student-loan defaults,” an audit conducted by the department’s Office of Inspector General has concluded.

A report on the audit’s findings, released on Friday, argues that the department’s lack of a coherent strategy renders it ill equipped to find effective measures against default, identify risks that cause loan delinquency, and work effectively with companies that service student loans on the department’s beha…

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Performance-Funding Formulas Spur Some State Colleges to Raise Admissions Standards

Report: “Unintended Impacts of Performance Funding on Community Colleges and Universities in Three States”

Authors: Hana Lahr, Lara Pheatt, Kevin Dougherty, Sosanya Jones, Rebecca Natow, and Vikash Reddy

Organization: Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College

Summary: New policies in Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee that link significant portions of state budget allocations to colleges’ graduation and persistence rates are causing some four-year colleges to become m…

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Education Dept. Has Lax Oversight of Third-Party Security, Audit Finds

Report: “Review of Federal Student Aid’s Oversight and Monitoring of Private Collection Agency and Guaranty Agency Security Controls”

Organization: Education Department’s inspector general

Summary: The Education Department is not doing enough to ensure that student-loan debt collectors and guarantors are safeguarding sensitive student-loan information.

With regard to debt collectors, the audit found that the department:

  • Allowed required security approvals to lapse, then let debt collectors cont…
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Team Science Is Tied to Growth in Grants With Multiple Recipients

Report: “Together We Stand”

Authors: Alexander M. Petersen, of the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, in Lucca, Italy, and Ioannis Pavlidis and Ioanna Semendeferi, both of the University of Houston

Publication: Nature Physics

Summary: The authors identify a continuing rise of “team science” in university research, judge it to be a desirable long-term shift, and consider the policies and habits at funding agencies and academic institutions that may be unnecessarily hindering it.

A central sugges…