Federal policy

In first year, 'Shopping Sheet' doesn't make a big splash

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In its first year, a much-touted "shopping sheet" to help new college students and their families appears to be having minimal impact.

Two-year colleges serve more disadvantaged students with less money

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Community colleges struggle to serve a growing share of disadvantaged students, report finds, while public funding skews toward four-year institutions.

Political winds shift on federal unit records database -- but how much?

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Bill introduced Thursday would create a federal database to track students through college and into the work force, but it's unclear whether "unit record" idea will find more favor than it did seven years ago.

Competency-based education heats up with new entrants

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Possible end game for competency-based education emerges with five new "direct assessment" programs, as foundations and experts discuss how to ensure academic quality.

With 2 hearings, Congress takes first steps toward rewriting Higher Education Act

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With concurrent hearings, Congress takes the first tentative steps toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.

Focus groups find problems with various award letter templates

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A focus group study of financial aid award letters suggests students and parents want clear information, but haven't found it in existing recommendations for financial aid disclosures.

Feds give nudge to competency-based education

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The U.S. Department of Education encourages colleges and accreditors to move forward on competency-based education programs that don't rely on the credit hour.

Competency-based education continues spread

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Western Governors U. and others continue to expand competency-based education amid excitement (and confusion) about President Obama's praise of the approach.

Dire predictions and uncertainty as sequester is set to take effect tonight

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Mandatory budget cuts take effect at midnight tonight. While the specific effects of the cuts are still unclear, colleges warn they will be harmful.

White House's new scorecard oversimplifies institutions, liberal arts advocates say

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Advocates for liberal arts education worry that White House’s new College Scorecard oversimplifies the college-selection process and places too much emphasis on financial aspects of the decision.

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