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Climate Surveys Are Coming

Inside Higher Ed - Opinion
May 21, 2015

Drinker Biddle & Reath Attorneys Rachel Share and Scott Coffina write: Campus climate surveys have become an important tool for universities in the battle against sexual assault on campus. The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, in its April 2014 report “Not Alone,” gave the higher education community a strong hint by writing: “We urge schools to show they’re serious about the problem by conducting the survey next year.”

One Chart That Shows How Student Debt Can Devastate Retirement Savings

May 21, 2015

Student debt can weigh you down long into adulthood, and might make you less likely to ever be able to retire. That's according to a new analysis from Demos, a progressive think tank.

Shumlin Touts Dual Enrollment Program for High School Students

Vermont Digger
May 21, 2015

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin celebrated Tuesday the Legislature’s decision to fully fund a program that lets high school students take college courses for free and on their own schedules. Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding, Association of Vermont Independent Colleges President Susan Stitely and other education leaders joined the governor at Burlington High School to encourage students to sign up for summer classes as soon as possible.

Risk Sharing, Yes. But How?

Inside Higher Ed
May 21, 2015

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate education committee were in agreement that the government’s existing accountability metrics, like default rates, are inadequate. And nearly all backed the concept of risk sharing -- the idea that individual colleges need to have a greater financial stake in what happens to the federal loans that students use to attend their institutions. For all the bipartisan rhetoric about risk sharing, though, Wednesday’s hearing also showed that hammering out the details of a new accountability regime won’t be easy.

Ratings Roulette: Proposed Federal System Threatens U.S. Higher Education

Atlanta, Ga., Journal-Constitution - Presidential Opinion
May 21, 2015

Brenau University President Ed. L. Schrader writes: Many schools offer education access to a portion of this high-risk demographic. A one-size-fits-all ratings system certainly will place these schools at a disadvantage, particularly as future federal dollars switch to elite, already well-funded institutions with higher graduation rates.

Yale Gives Former Leader $8.5 Million Payout

Wall Street Journal
May 21, 2015

Yale University made a special $8.5 million payment to former president Richard C. Levin, an unprecedented lump-sum payout highlighting the increasingly lucrative compensation for leaders at the nation’s top universities.  The “additional retirement benefit,” distributed after Mr. Levin stepped down at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, was disclosed in Yale’s latest federal tax return, filed Friday.

Where Are All the Women in Engineering?

The Hechinger Report - Commentary
May 21, 2015

Columbia University engineering student Madison Cox writes:  As a woman in the United States, there are certain realities I have to face, like lower wages and lowered expectations. As a woman in engineering, there are different struggles. Today, about 19 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering are awarded to women. It should come as no surprise that I often find myself in a room full of men, having not only to represent myself but also my gender. While a less common occurrence at my college, Columbia University — where two out of every five engineering students are female — high school was a different story.

Education Gaps Pose Looming Crisis for U.S. Economy

National Journal
May 21, 2015

Fewer working-age African-Americans than whites hold four-year college degrees in all but one of the nation's 150 largest metropolitan areas, according to a new Next America analysis of data from the massive National Equity Atlas.  Likewise, the share of working-age Hispanic adults holding four-year college degrees lags behind the percentage of whites, often by enormous margins, in all but one of those 150 communities, the analysis found.  These pervasive and persistent disparities underscore the growing challenge that increasing racial diversity will present for the workforce in the years ahead. 

Widening Wealth Gap

Inside Higher Ed
May 21, 2015

Harvard Uniiversity has cash and investments of nearly $43 billion, and is the wealthiest college in the country by more than $10 billion. Harvard is part of a prestigious pack of the 40 wealthiest universities in the country, which hold two-thirds of all the wealth among the 500 colleges rated by Moody's, which rates institutions that are financially sound enough to trade in public markets. The rest of the pack have median cash and endowments of $273 million, or just 4 percent of the median $6.3 billion in cash and endowments at each of the wealthiest institutions, according to an April Moody’s report. The other 4,000 or so universities and colleges in the U.S. not rated by Moody's generally have even less liquid.

Reed Tells Senate Committee Student Debt Has Caused 'Mortgaged' Futures

Providence Journal
May 21, 2015

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) on Wednesday said that young adults have “mortgaged their economic future” because of college student loan debt and he called for colleges to share some of the financial risk of student loan defaults. Reed's comments came during testimony before a Senate committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on The Protect Student Borrowers Act of 2015 which Reed introduced last month. The Act seeks to make colleges more accountable for student indebtedness by requiring institutions to assume some of the financial risk of student loan defaults based on the percentage of their graduates and former students who default on their loans.

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