"Work colleges, including one in the St. Louis region and another in south central Missouri, could get more attention from Congress in the coming months," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
"Louis Blackmon was 11 when the floodwaters unleashed by Hurricane Katrina churned through his family’s East New Orleans home, filling it with brackish water and plastering the ceiling with mud and mold," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Few of his friends and relatives made it back to the poor, mostly black neighborhood where he grew up. Far fewer had found their way to college a decade later."
"Arizona unexpectedly ended the 2015 fiscal year $325 million in the black. As a result, some lawmakers are discussing restoring the funds cut from the state’s three public universities in the current budget," Arizona Public Radio reports.
"Eastern Oklahoma State College has been ordered to repay more than $1 million to the federal government after the U.S. Department of Education said some students at the institution received student aid when they weren't eligible," the McAlester News-Capital reports.
"More students than ever are going to college in the United States. In 2013, degree-granting higher education institutions in the U.S. enrolled 17.5 million students, which is an increase of more than 45 percent over the last 25 years," according to the Brookings Institution. "There are a number of reasons that more students are going to more school. While some are continuing their education because it’s expected of them, millions more are doing so because they’ve been told a degree will open doors that would otherwise remain shut."
"National student loan debt now clocks in at a staggering $1.2 trillion. Just four in ten Americans possess a college degree. To boot, a third of college graduates aren’t ready for the workforce, says the business community," according to the Committee for Economic Development. "It’s unequivocally clear: once the envy of the world, America’s higher education system isn’t up to par on several fronts."
"...Every year, hundreds of thousands of students go to college uncertain of the value of the degree they'll eventually earn. Some of them land at unscrupulous colleges that put tuition revenue first and foremost. Many of them will transfer before graduation. Most of those will worry about whether their credits will come with them. that are supposed to protect them. And many students graduate with crushing amounts of debt," Libby Nelson writes for Vox. "Most of those students don't become national politicians with the ability to change the face of higher education."
"University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said in a recent sit-down meeting with The Ann Arbor News that one of his top priorities is finding a way to increase diversity among faculty and students, and he didn't limit diversity to race or ethnicity," The Ann Arbor News reports.
Did student loan debt escalate to become a national issue due to a lack of funds for colleges, or the actions of politicians or students? Joel and Eric Best, authors of The Student Loan Mess: How Good Intentions Created a Trillion-dollar Problem, present a different view. Check out a book review in the Journal of Student Financial Aid penned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Justin Chase Brown for a historical look at how student loan debt became a focus, and what lies ahead for higher education.
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