Category Archives: College Access


67 Colleges Will Take Part in Education Dept.’s Pell-for-Prisoners Program

Sixty-seven institutions of higher education will participate in the U.S. Education Department’s pilot program to make Pell Grants available to prison inmates, the department announced on Friday.

The department announced the program in July of last year. Its rollout comes more than 20 years after Congress prohibited inmates from receiving Pell Grants.

“The evidence is clear,” said the U.S. education secretary, John B. King Jr., in a news release. “Promoting the education and job training for inc…


ACT Plans Center to Help Underserved Students Succeed in College and Work Force

These days, everyone’s talking about “equity,” and now a testing company has affixed the word to a new effort. The company behind the ACT on Wednesday announced plans for a Center for Equity in Learning, which will focus on helping underserved students succeed in college and the work force.

At a news conference in Washington, officials from ACT Inc., in Iowa City, said the center would conduct research on — and develop strategies for — closing achievement gaps. The center plans to collaborat…


White House Urges Colleges to Rethink Asking Applicants About Criminal History

The Obama administration is calling on colleges and universities to reconsider whether to ask applicants about their criminal histories, the White House announced on Friday.

Twenty-five higher-education institutions across the United States have signed on to the program, called the Fair Chance Higher Education Pledge, as of Friday, the White House said.

The announcement represents the administration’s latest effort to lower barriers to higher education for people with criminal records. Last mon…


Common Application Gets New Leader From U. of Puget Sound

The Common Application has appointed a new executive director, the organization’s Board of Directors announced on Thursday.

Jenny Rickard, now vice president for enrollment at the University of Puget Sound, in Washington state, will take the helm of the nonprofit group that oversees the widely used admission-application platform in August. She will succeed Paul Mott, who left the organization this year.

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Ms. Rickard describes her vision for the Common App in a Chronicle interview.

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Student Reporter Interviews Obama. First Question? The Fafsa.

When President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House’s Briefing Room on College Reporter Day, on April 28, he probably didn’t expect one of the student journalists there to ask him for more access. But Dan Corey, editor in chief of Rutgers University’s student newspaper, The Daily Targum, did just that.

And on Monday, Mr. Corey landed an interview with the commander in chief, who will speak on Sunday at the institution’s commencement, in New Brunswick, N.J.

In the 15-minute teleph…


Community Colleges Endorse Plan Sending UNC’s Weakest Students to Them First

North Carolina’s community colleges declared on Friday that they were ready to carry out a new state law requiring the weakest students admitted to the University of North Carolina system to complete two years at a community college before being permitted to enroll on a system campus, reports The News and Observer. In making such a declaration, the State Board of Community Colleges broke with the UNC Board of Governors, which has called for a delay in instituting the policy.

Supporters of the po…


Sara Goldrick-Rab to Depart U. of Wisconsin, Citing ‘#FakeTenure’ and ‘Terrified Sheep’

Sara Goldrick-Rab, the University of Wisconsin scholar-activist and sharp critic of Gov. Scott Walker’s repeal of state laws protecting tenure and shared governance, announced on her blog Monday night that she would move to Temple University as a professor of higher-education policy and sociology.

In her statement, Ms. Goldrick-Rab spoke of her “commitment to working in public higher education, where the vast majority of people pursuing economic stability and upward mobility via college are en…


State-Colleges Association Will ‘Reimagine’ First Year of College

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities will team up with 44 institutions to “reimagine the first year of college” with an eye to the success of students who come from low-income or minority backgrounds or who are the first in their family to attend college.

According to a statement released on Monday, the project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the organization USA Funds, is aimed at easing the attainment of a college degree. The participating cam…


Is Community College Already Free? It’s More Complicated Than That, Researchers Say

One critique of the free-college movement, or even debt-free college, is that students have plenty of low-cost options within higher education. For instance, community colleges. “Public two-year colleges … are free or nearly free for low-income students,” wrote Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, in a July 2015 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Really? Two researchers took up the question and concluded the reality is more complex. In a policy brief, Sara Gold…


New Missouri Law Bars Scholarships for Undocumented Students

A new state law bars Missouri students who are in the United States illegally from receiving a state scholarship that would shield them from high tuition rates, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Missouri’s General Assembly voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that bars the students from being awarded the A+ Scholarship, which pays for two years of tuition at community colleges. The students, who were typically brought to the United States as children by their parent…