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Sustaining SARA

Inside Higher Ed
December 18, 2014

With Tuesday’s announcement that New Hampshire had joined, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, or SARA, has 18 member states. Another seven states -- Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Utah and Vermont -- have passed legislation that would enable them to apply or are in the process of doing so. In other words, the organization is close to hitting the milestone of recruiting half the states in the country.

A Steep Slide in Law School Enrollment Accelerates

New York Times, DealB%k - Blog
December 18, 2014

The bottom of the law school market just keeps on dropping. Enrollment numbers of first-year law students have sunk to levels not seen since 1973, when there were 53 fewer law schools in the United States, according to the figures just released by the American Bar Association. The 37,924 full- and part-time students who started classes in 2014 represent a 30 percent decline from just four years ago, when enrollment peaked at 52,488.

2 Takes on Student-Loan Defaults: Is the Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 18, 2014

There’s good news, and somewhat discouraging news, in the Education Department’s latest data on student-loan repayment. More borrowers with federal direct loans are opting into income-based plans, lowering their monthly payments and their risk of default. However, forbearances and defaults continue to climb.

GOP gives feds’ college rating plan an F

Politico
December 18, 2014

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said he sees rating colleges as “a financial and moral obligation,” meant to help families make wise choices and to ensure taxpayers’ $150 billion annual investment in student aid isn’t squandered. But GOP critics frame the rating plan — expected Friday — as yet another example of arrogance and imperialism from the White House.

A Long Haul on Long Island

Inside Higher Ed
December 18, 2014

Dowling, with a beautiful campus on Long Island that once belonged to the Vanderbilts, is a poster child for the nation’s struggling private colleges. Its enrollment has plummeted, and because nearly every penny Dowling has comes from current students, its finances are as precarious as those of perhaps any college in the country.

Obama Administration to Unveil College Ratings Plan

Inside Higher Ed
December 18, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education will release a much-anticipated outline of its college ratings system on Friday, according to several sources familiar with the department's plans.

Judge rejects concussions deal

Associated Press
December 17, 2014

A federal judge in Chicago rejected a proposed $75 million class-action head injury settlement with the NCAA on Wednesday, portraying the deal as too unwieldy and potentially underfunded and urging both sides to go back to the drawing board.

Proposed Teacher Preparation Regulations Tie Program Quality to Aid; Comments due Feb. 2, 2015

NAICU Washington Update
December 17, 2014

The Department of Education issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to provide increased Title II accountability for all teacher preparation programs and to link program quality to Title IV TEACH Grant eligibility. Comments on the proposed regulations are due February 2, 2015. Included in the regulations is an additional request for comments (due Jan. 2, 2015) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the cost and burden of implementing teacher preparation regulations.

Distance Education Reciprocity Effort Continues to Move Forward

NAICU Washington Update
December 17, 2014

Since its establishment in August 2013, State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) officials have continued to promote membership in the agreement and to refine its operations and requirements. SARA's use of the Department of Education’s financial responsibility composite scores to assess the financial soundness of private institutions continues to be a concern.

Another Try at Gainful Employment Regulations

NAICU Washington Update
December 17, 2014

The Department of Education has again published a final gainful employment rule and has again been sued by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU).

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