Federal policy

Higher education leaders respond to Obama's ambitous ratings system plan

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Obama proposes expansive college rating system. Making it happen won't be easy, but higher education leaders said they'll play ball.

President Obama proposes to link student aid to new ratings of colleges

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President proposes new system to evaluate colleges -- and plan to offer greater Pell Grants and more favorable loans to those who attend institutions with the best rankings.

Obama vows to 'shake up' higher education and find new ways to limit costs

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President Obama vows to issue "aggressive strategy" to deal with the rising prices of higher education. Some academics question emphasis on efficiency.

Justice Department launches investigation into merit aid talks

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Justice Department investigation into whether merit aid discussions violate antitrust rules highlights the barriers that private colleges face in dialing back the practice and the unclear laws under which they operate.

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.

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