Thursday, March 5, 2015

Youth News Roundup: College Edition

Here's our roundup of recent news articles and reports on the benefits -- and challenges -- of higher education for young adults.

Creating Opportunities for Young Adults

The 2nd Act in His Unlikely Pursuit: A College Degree: "According to data from the most recent census survey, there are 871 people in the Queensbridge development 25 to 34 years old — and of those, only 8.5 percent have bachelor’s degrees. During his junior year at Long Island City High School, Mr. Lawson was referred to Urban Upbound, a nonprofit organization that brings economic and educational resources to public housing neighborhoods. The group offered career guidance, budget counseling, tax preparation and, most importantly to him, SAT tutors." New York Times

The Roots of Obama’s Ambitious College Plan: "The plan would allow anyone admitted to a community college to attend without paying tuition, so long as they enroll in a program meeting certain basic requirements and they remain on track to graduate in three years. Its broad goals are clear: to extend the amount of mass education available, for free, beyond high school — from K-through-12, to K-through-college." New York Times

How Google and Coursera may upend the traditional college degree: "Recently, the online education firm Coursera announced a new arrangement with Google, Instagram and other tech firms to launch what some are calling “microdegrees” – a set of online courses plus a hands-on capstone project designed in conjunction with top universities and leading high-tech firms. . . . [T]he Coursera announcement could be an important step in a radical shakeup of higher education. That shakeup holds the prospect of far less expensive and more customized degrees that are more in tune with the recruiting needs of major employers." Brookings Institute

Engaging Students for Success: Cengage Learning, Maricopa Corporate College, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education Participate in White House College Opportunity Summit: "The partnership was created to identify comprehensive solutions in response to the crisis of disconnected youth in Phoenix – where more than 250,000 students are impacted. The Greater Phoenix Collective Impact was designed to increase high school graduates' college and career readiness by providing 18-to-24-year-old students with an entry-level workforce certificate and accredited high school diploma through Career Online High School. This innovative partnership will serve as a model to advance the goals of the College Opportunity Day, and ensures dialogue and best practice among a broad constituency." Sys-Con Media

The High Cost of Higher Education

3 Ways to Lower Crazy High College Costs: "First, would-be students must be able to obtain clear information about costs and quality, so that they can locate the best value for money. . . . Second, we need comparison information that recognizes “quality” means different things to different people. . . . The third essential step is to open up the cozy world of higher education to more competition from institutions with new business models." Brookings Institute

A Clearer Approach to College Costs: When it comes to selecting a college, "[t]here is the sticker price and then there are actual prices, net of the best financial aid that students and their parents can negotiate. But many students and families do not realize they can bargain. And when they do, they have little or no idea of what they realistically may gain." Brookings Institute

College Debt Is Crippling Black Graduates' Ability To Gain Wealth: "More than 40 percent of African-American families had student loan debt in 2013, compared with 28 percent of white families, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank studying issues of education, health policy and low-income families. African-American families also typically take on more student debt -- $10,295 on average, compared with an average of $8,020 for white families." Huffington Post

Chart of the Day: Here's Who's Defaulting on Student Debt: "If you're likely to complete college, student loans are a good investment. But if you're right on the cusp, you should think twice. There's a good chance you'll just end up dropping out and you'll end up with a pile of student loans to pay back. If you're in that position, think hard about attending a community college and keeping student loans to the minimum you can manage." Mother Jones

The Challeges of Higher Education

The college trap that keeps people poor: "Nine out of 10 children who grow up at the bottom of the income ladder but then graduate from college move up to a higher economic bracket as adults, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Less than half of kids without a degree make the same leap.
That creates a paradox: Being poor is a big impediment to getting the education that lifts you out of poverty." Washington Post

For Recent Black College Graduates, a Tougher Road to Employment: "Among recent [college] graduates ages 22 to 27, the jobless rate for blacks last year was 12.4 percent versus 4.9 percent for whites, said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. While there has always been a gap between black and white college grads, this 7.5 percentage point difference was far greater than before the recession burned through the economy." New York Times

Why so many students are spending six years getting a college degree: "Taking longer to graduate isn't cheap. It costs $15,933 more in tuition, fees and room and board for every extra year at a public two-year college and $22,826 for every added year at a public four-year college, according to a new report by the nonprofit Complete College America." Washington Post

How dozens of failing for-profit schools found an unlikely savior -- a debt collector: "[T]he for-profit college giant Corinthian Colleges has spent much of the year in a tailspin. Investigations found the school used deceptive marketing to lure students into loans they had no hope of paying back, and the federal government suspended the schools’ access to federal aid. . . . The deal will create the country’s largest nonprofit system of career education and is the biggest sign yet that the beleaguered for-profit college industry, which currently has 2 million students enrolled, is trying to reinvent itself." Washington Post

Some Owners of Private Colleges Turn a Tidy Profit by Going Nonprofit: "The shift means more restrictions on moneymaking ventures and loss of ownership. But nonprofit schools — defined as providing a public benefit — do not have to pay taxes, are eligible for certain state grants and can receive more money from the federal student loan program. Consumer advocates and legal experts warn that some institutions might be shifting primarily to avoid stepped-up government scrutiny and regulation." New York Times

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