Study finds comparatively good outcomes for community college transfers

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Study finds that students who start at community college earn bachelor's degrees at much lower rates -- but those who transfer fare as well as (or better than) "native" four-year-college students.

College has become less affordable in most states, threatening to worsen economic stratification

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College affordability has declined in 45 states since 2008, with low- and middle-income students in particular feeling the pinch, new study finds.

Support for Emergency Aid in California Legislature

The California Assembly's Higher Education Committee voted to advance a bill that would authorize the use of state student success funding for emergency aid, which typically are small grants of $300 or less. The use of emergency aid is spreading, thanks in part to research showing that lower-income students often drop out of college because of short-term financial needs, such as car repairs or visiting a sick relative.

The bill introduced by David Chiu, an assemblymember from San Francisco, would allow community college students in California to receive emergency aid from the state Student Success and Support Program.

In a written statement, Chiu said the bill would “help relieve some of the stress students face in the midst of an unexpected financial emergency and keep them on the path to be successful.”

Goldman Sachs Announces $4 Million in Grants to Community Colleges

Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm, on Monday announced that it would distribute $1 million in competitive grants for nine community colleges around the country. Those grants, which are aimed at community college endowments and will support need-based financial aid, follow $2 million in gifts for LaGuardia Community College, which is located in New York City. The new grants from the firm's Goldman Sachs Gives fund also will be matched with $1 million from donors to the colleges.

Essex County College Fires President, Lawyer

Essex County College's board on Wednesday fired Gale Gibson, the president, and Rashidah Hasan, general counsel and vice president for human resources, reported. Board officials have declined to say exactly why the two were suspended last month and have now been fired. But board members have indicated that Gibson and Hasan were accused of raiding employee hard drives and preventing employees from lodging complaints with board members. A lawyer for the former president said, "Dr. Gibson's name has been wrongly dragged through the mud and she has been relieved from her employment by persons with a political agenda."

Massachusetts promotes financial rebates to incentivize two-year completion and transfer

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Massachusetts is offering money to community college students who enroll full time, finish on time and transfer.

San Francisco Mulls Free Community College

Following the Los Angeles mayor's announcement that the city will begin offering one year of free community college tuition to high school graduates, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is looking to do the same for that city's residents.

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a proposal to eliminate tuition for City College of San Francisco students and to help them cover the cost of books, transportation and child care.

The Free City College Proposal would eliminate enrollment fees for all San Francisco residents and workers who work at least part time in the city. Students whose fees are already covered by financial aid would still be eligible for up to $1,000 in grants for textbooks, transportation and child care. Currently, California community college enrollment fees are $46 per unit. Students who attend full time for a year pay about $1,100 annually. Out-of-state and international students would not qualify for the plan.

"San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the word -- the cost of living has increased exponentially. When students have to make the choice between paying rent or paying tuition, buying groceries or buying textbooks, we have to act," Kim said in a news release. "Higher education isn't a luxury. It's a fundamental necessity if we want San Franciscans to be able to compete in the 21st-century workplace. We have a plan that can fully fund this proposal to help over 20,000 students from all walks of life, of all ages, to pursue their dreams."

The plan estimates that 80 percent of CCSF students have San Francisco zip codes. The plan could cost the city $12.8 million a year and would be implemented no later than 2017, if passed, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

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Study: Wealthy Students Still Much More Likely to Earn Bachelor's Degree

While diversity in American higher education has improved substantially in recent decades, wealthier students still earn the bulk of the bachelor's degrees awarded in this country, according to new data from the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education and the University of Pennsylvania Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy.

A newly released study from the two groups found that the distribution of bachelor's degree attainment between family levels has remained relatively constant since 1970. The top two family income quartiles accounted for 72 percent of the total number of bachelor's degrees earned that year -- and 77 percent of bachelor's degrees earned in 2014. "The bottom two quartiles accounted for 28 percent in 1970 and 23 percent in 2014," the study found, "a decline of five percentage points over this period."

Kentucky Budget Includes Free Community College Plan

Kentucky lawmakers reached a budget agreement last week that includes a plan for free community college.

The budget includes $25 million for the "Work Ready" scholarships that would provide up to two years of free community college to the state's high school graduates, reported The Courier-Journal. The scholarship would provide so-called last-dollar aid for up to six semesters to newly enrolled students in the two-year system. Last-dollar aid means the scholarship would cover any tuition and fees that federal and state grants or assistance programs do not.

However, the state's community colleges and universities also will see a 4.5 percent cut in funding.

Republican Governor Matt Bevin has until April 27 to act on the budget bill.

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Community colleges look globally for programs to entice and retain students

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Small community colleges consider study abroad programs to retain students and offer something different.


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