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The 2021-22 FAFSA Is Open

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA, which U.S. universities use to determine what, if any, financial assistance for families, opened on October 1, 2020. Parents and students can submit the form online, only requiring some time and patience to complete, what can, on first glance, be reminiscent of a complex tax form. Furthermore,…

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Is Sentiment the Cost Now that Freedom Has Been Lost?

The Modern College, a place where students guided by mentors, supported by peers, experiment with adult responsibilities, free to discover their life’s purpose, only impersonates its Pre-COVID self.  To mitigate health risks of the pandemic, in March and again in Fall 2020, university administrators are restricting students’ freedoms, for which they believe they must, yet, in doing so, their actions…

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The Shrinking American Middle Class, Part 5

Caption: Jen Grantham/Getty Images/iStockphoto Although the causes behind the shrinking of the American middle class are complicated, the interdependent, economic relationship with the modern American educational industrial complex is not in doubt.  As academic achievements plateau at the average, middle class families are spending more funds to supplement educational experiences, like extracurricular activities. Additionally, greater middle class wealth is spent…

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Student Loan Interest Rates for 2020-21

Federal student loan interest rates for the upcoming 2020-21 school year will be set lower than the 2019-20 school year. The 2020-21 rates will be as follows: Undergraduate Direct Loans: 2.75% Graduate Student Direct Loans: 4.3% Parent PLUS Loans: 5.3% Student loan interest rates are set annually and apply to any loan taken during that school year. The interest rates…

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Understanding “Why College?” Is More Important Than Ever

On May 11, administrators at Northwestern University, a 169 year old institution, ranked #9 National University according to US News & World Report with a $10.8 Billion endowment fund, announced expense reductions, including: furloughing 250 staff, halting hiring, suspending contributions to pensions, as well as cutting salaries for university administrators. For the second year in a row, Northwestern administrators are…

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Governor Newsom Proposes $1 Billion Cut to California Community Colleges

Last Thursday, May 14, California Governor Newsom announced 2020-21 budget revisions, including cuts to higher education, given the projected $54 billion loss of state revenues. Although he proposes a $376 million cut to the University of California (UC) system affecting 285,000 students and a $404 million cut affecting 500,000 California State University (CSU) students, the $1 Billion cut to California’s…

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The value of a college education

In my recent conversation with Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle, I discussed the changes to the college admissions process starting in Fall 2021, as well as sentiment about the value of a college education. Although colleges are non-profit organizations, which in the collective culture are imagined to be altruistic endeavors where the potential of the young is discovered,…

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More Fiscal Reckoning for Public Colleges

In 2019, average state funding per full time college student was still lower than the 2009 levels, the beginning of The Great Financial Crisis. Given projected reductions in state revenues for 2020, higher education leaders will likely again experience reductions in state subsidies starting this fall, as we discussed earlier. Students would be wise to understand how reduced funding may…

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Educational Investing Quagmire

As state revenues shrink, the subsidies to public K-12 schools and higher education systems will shrink proportionately, effectively increasing the (or likelihood of) fiscal deficits for educational institutions. In a recent Bloomberg News article discussing the economic state of affairs in California, the fifth largest state economy in the United States:  California Governor Gavin Newsom said the economic slowdown caused…

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Ahead of the Curve: Week of April 27, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis disrupting educational and instructional continuity, students, parents, and educators are asking and being asked questions about the current educational process, which is also spurring discussions about the value of education.   The following is a selection of education-related news stories from the past few weeks, offering insights about the shifts in both K-12 and higher…

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Top 25 Nationally Ranked Universities Adopt Pass/No Pass-Style Grades for Spring 2020

To date, thirteen of the top twenty-five US News & World Report nationally ranked universities, all adopted Pass/No Pass-style grading systems for the spring term, due to the COVID-19 health crisis: Princeton #1, Harvard #2, Columbia #3, Yale #3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology #3, University of Pennsylvania #6, Stanford University #6, Johns Hopkins University #10, Dartmouth #12, Brown #14, Cornell…

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The State of A College Education: How Golden Is The Golden Ticket? Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2, sentiment amongst college students and prospective college students may already be declining, which could be exacerbated even further, as we weather the current global pandemic with closed college campuses and students dispersed to their childhood homes. Additionally, the last of the Millennials are now college graduates, but experiencing a current 41% underemployment rate, meaning they…

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Lessons to Learn from The Stanford Experience, Part 2

Students are transforming how they imagine their college experiences and reimagining their relationship with their university. Suddenly, with shifts to online learning and for many students, the eviction from on-campus residences, like those at Stanford, the loss of access to libraries, tutoring centers, guest lectures, panel discussions, late-night dorm conversations about the meaning of the universe, the list goes on,…

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How to Prepare for Potential School Closures Related to COVID-19

As novel COVID-19, coronavirus, continues evolving, parents and children can become more anxious about their health and well-being, as well as how their education may be affected, especially when U.S. Health Officials are suggesting possibly closing schools to stem the spread of COVID-19 in areas where the virus may become endemic.   This past week, U.S. Health Officials, Nancy Messonnier,…

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College Study Abroad Closures Related to COVID-19

As the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues affecting people all over the world, educational plans are being disrupted. Study abroad programs are being suspended and students are unsure if they can make travel plans for summer cultural immersions.  Many different universities have recently announced plans to suspend current programs, and begin assisting students and staff in their travels back to the U.S.,…

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