Federal policy

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

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.

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

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

Competency-based education heats up with new entrants

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

Focus groups find problems with various award letter templates

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

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

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

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

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.

Effects of sequestration are already felt at colleges and universities

Mandatory budget cuts are scheduled to take effect March 1. This time, colleges fear it might actually happen, but have little idea how the cuts would be applied.

Fiscal cliff deal averts across-the-board spending cuts

A last-minute deal in Congress puts off mandatory spending cuts for two months and extends a tax break for college tuition.

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