Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 17, 2017

Kentucky's free community college scholarship program will be limited to students seeking certificates in five industries with worker shortages -- health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, business services and internet technology, and construction.

The state's Work Ready Scholarship program was originally conceived and approved by the state's Legislature last year to include students seeking two-year associate degrees. However, the state's Republican governor, Matt Bevin, vetoed that legislation but left $15.9 million of funding for it in the state's budget bill. In December, Bevin issued an executive order redefining the limits of the scholarship to just include certificate seekers in those five areas.

Although Bevin's order was issued in December, the change only recently became clear because legislators were not aware that the term "diploma" didn't include two-year degrees within the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Kentucky is the second state to consider limiting tuition-free programs to just certificate seekers in specific fields.

April 17, 2017

Brown University announced Friday that it is waiving its application fee (currently $75) for applicants who participate in various federal programs for low-income students. Like most colleges and universities, Brown already had a policy of waiving the fees for those who fill out a fee-waiver request. But some institutions -- such as City University of New York, Bowdoin College, and Trinity College of Connecticut -- last year announced automatic fee waivers for some low-income applicants. The idea is that there are many families for whom the fees (especially applied to multiple institutions) are a burden and for whom the waiver process may be discouraging.

April 17, 2017

The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Council has adopted sweeping reforms for college football recruitment that will, among other substantial changes, create an earlier signing period for prospective recruits.

Legislation approved Friday by the council still must pass the Division I Board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet April 26.

Among the changes:

  • A shift to the recruitment calendar that allows for an earlier signing period in December, beginning this year.
  • Recruits can make official visits to campuses in a period beginning April 1 and extending to the end of June, but visits can’t interfere with a prospect’s high school camp or clinic.
  • Bowl Subdivision institutions can’t hire anyone “close to” prospective student-athletes for two years before and after a student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at a college or university.
  • Bowl Subdivision institutions are allowed to hire a 10th assistant coach, effective January 2018.
  • Bowl Subdivision institutions can only sign 25 prospective and current players to a first-time financial aid agreement or a National Letter of Intent. Student-athletes enrolled at the school for at least two years, or prospective or current players who suffer an incapacitating injury, are excluded from this requirement.
  • Bowl Subdivision coaches and staff members can’t participate in more than 10 days of camps and clinics in June and July at a campus or other facilities regularly used for practice or play.
  • Coaches employed at a camp or clinic can engage in recruitment conversations, with educational lessons on eligibility, gambling, agent rules and drug regulations being required.

The Division I council also has barred twice-daily practices, mirroring the actions of Division II and II leaders of the NCAA recently.

Teams now are allowed to practice an additional week earlier.

Sports science research teams within the NCAA have determined that a majority of concussions and deaths occur with “consecutive periods of contact,” Bob Bowlsby, chairman of the Division I Football Oversight Committee and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, said in a recent conference call with reporters.

April 17, 2017

A British exchange student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was killed in a stabbing attack on a tram in Jerusalem Friday, the BBC reported. A 57-year-old Palestinian man who police said had recently been released from a psychiatric hospital was detained at the scene of the attack.

The student who was killed, Hannah Bladon, 21, came to Hebrew University in January as an exchange student from the University of Birmingham. In a statement Hebrew University condemned "such acts of terror that harm innocent people, and especially a student who came to Jerusalem to study and widen her academic horizons."

April 17, 2017

On this weekend's Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch reprised their characters of Sully and Denise, stereotypes of working-class Boston residents, this time touring Harvard University with their newly admitted daughter and offending some of the other parents. A key part their daughter's decision-making process on enrolling is based on the name of a dormitory for freshmen. If you didn't watch the sketch yet (it's below), we won't ruin it for you, but the name of the dormitory is real.

April 17, 2017

Today, as part of the Academic Minute's Current Affairs Week, Corey Brettschneider, professor of political science at Brown University, discusses whether the ban is legal. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 14, 2017

Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of the day a student at Virginia Tech killed 32 people on the campus. This weekend, the university has scheduled a series of events to mark the tragedy, including traditional vigils of mourning, but also a salute to first responders and an exhibit of books in honor of those killed. Several alumni chapters have also organized days to work together on community service projects to honor those who died. A list of activities is here. The photos above show a composite of those who were murdered and the Blacksburg, Va., memorial to them.

April 14, 2017

Police say a student accused of blasphemy against Islam was killed by a mob of fellow students at a university campus in northern Pakistan, the BBC reported. The victim, identified as journalism student Mashal Khan, was reportedly beaten and shot at close range. A second man was injured in the mob attack, which occurred on the campus of Abdul Wali Khan University. The campus has been closed, and "many" students have reportedly been arrested.

April 14, 2017

Authorities at the University of Texas at Dallas are investigating how two Korans ended up in a toilet bowl in a men's bathroom, The Texas Tribune reported. Larry Zacharias, the police chief at the university, said police had few leads. He believed that the incident did not reflect widespread discrimination against Muslim students, but, as students have suggested to him, a “one-time, stupid incident.”

Mohammad Syed, president of the Muslim Students Association at the university, said, "Given the current political climate and how Muslims are portrayed in the media, it makes certain individuals act in this hateful way."

April 14, 2017

A high school senior from Arizona is poised to become the first woman to receive a scholarship to play college football, CNN reported. Becca Longo formally agreed Wednesday to kick for the football team at Adams State University in Colorado, which plays in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Experts told ESPN that while more than a dozen women have played college football, Longo would be the first to receive a scholarship to play at the Division II level or higher.

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