Federal policy

Still Pushing for DREAM

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WASHINGTON -- The timing couldn’t have been much better for a group of scholars and administrators advocating for a pipeline to legal status for undocumented college students to meet here.

Falling Education Attainment

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WASHINGTON – Young adults are less likely to have earned a degree than their older counterparts, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution that gathers nearly a decade’s worth of data from the government's American Community Survey and foreshadows next year’s release of the 2010 Census.

Community Colleges' Unfunded Mandate

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President Obama, foundation leaders and the heads of advocacy groups all agree that community colleges need to focus on more than access and drastically improve their generally low completion rates. By and large, these leaders believe that these institutions know, whether by research or common sense, just what to do – such as providing better academic advising, outreach to struggling students, financial aid to encourage full-time enrollment, smaller class sizes and so forth. So what’s the holdup?

Reassurance on Health Reform

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PHILADELPHIA – Just as he was delivering his opening speech to the annual meeting of the American College Health Association here last Wednesday, Jim Turner, the group’s president, got word that he was wanted at the White House that afternoon.

Method to Miller's Madness

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WASHINGTON -- The subject of a House of Representatives hearing Thursday seemed like an unusually obscure, in-the-weeds topic for a Congressional committee to spend its time on: an accrediting agency's standards for assessing a college's policies on academic credit hours.

'Bad Apples' or Something More?

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WASHINGTON -- Two weeks ago, the hub of the federal government’s scrutiny of for-profit higher education was the U.S. Department of Education, where a team of staffers were putting the finishing touches on a set of proposed regulations aimed at reining in abuses of the federal financial aid program.

The Senate Scrutiny Begins

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WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats began their investigation of for-profit higher education here in earnest Thursday, holding the first in what they promise will be a series of hearings aimed at better understanding the sector’s value to students and taxpayers.

For three hours, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard testimony that, taken together, amounted to a largely scathing overview of the sector.

Splitting the Difference on Gainful Employment

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Education today released its long-awaited proposed regulations to define “gainful employment,” the mechanism that makes non-liberal arts offerings at for-profit colleges eligible for federal financial aid.

Striking a middle ground between aggressively attacking for-profit higher education and backing down under the sector’s intense lobbying pressure, the rule creates multiple paths to eligibility and takes aim at only the most egregious of bad actors.

'Low-Income Students and the Perpetuation of Inequality'

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With a lingering recession sending Americans (back) to college in record numbers, and an administration determined to improve the country's record on degree attainment, higher education, more than ever, has plenty of public attention.

Pell Shortfall Persists

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WASHINGTON -- A Senate panel wavered a bit from its House of Representatives counterpart, producing a 2011 funding bill Tuesday that aims to protect Pell Grants from cuts -- but doesn't fully fund the program -- and boosts funding to the National Institutes of Health.

At a brief drafting session, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved a bill that provides $169.6 billion in discretionary funding, including $66.4 billion for the Education Department.

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