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Thursday
Jul052012

A Victory for For-profits

Document:

Wall Street Journal, 7/3/12

Summary:

News account of the court's decision in the APSCU lawsuit to overturn parts of the gainful employment regulations. While the decision removed some of the specific provisions, it did not restrict the Department's ability to regulate the sector. 

Monday
Jul022012

Court Strikes Down Parts of Gainful Employment

Source:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/2/12

Summary:

On Saturday, Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, issued a decision that vacacted several provisions of the Gainful Employment regulations released by the Department of Education last year. The decision in a suit brought by the Association of Private Sector Colleges & Universities found that the two debt repayment measures in the regulations were "arbitrary and capricious." In addition, the ruling vacated a requirement to submit data related to the debt calculation as well as a requirement to seek Department approval for all new programs.

Saturday
Jun302012

Study Finds Graduating in Four Years is Better

Source:

CNN Schools of Thought, 6/28/12

Summary:

Opinion piece related to a recent study by the University of Tennessee that found that people who graduated with a bachelor's degree in four years saw higher wages than those who graduated in six years. The difference was about $6,000 on average. The study posited a few reasons for the difference including the head start of on-time graduates and the fact that "some employers may see a difference in aptitude between those who graduate on time and those who don’t."

Friday
Jun292012

Cal Grant Cuts Target Private Sector Schools

Document:

Inside Higher Education, 6/29/12

Summary:

California's budget-related decision to reduce spending on the generous Cal Grant program will hit for-profit career schools the hardest. The "budget plan requires colleges to have a six-year graduation rate of at least 30 percent and a maximum three-year cohort default rate on students loans of 15.5 percent." Community colleges are exempt from these requirments because their students do not rely as heavily on federal loans.

Tuesday
Jun052012

White House Meeting on Financial Transparency

Document:

The White House, June 2012

Summary:

In a meeting today, university leaders met with members of the administration including Education Secretary Arne Duncan to "commit to providing key financial information to all of their incoming students starting next year." As part of this commitment, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking public comment on a model financial aid award letter.

Tuesday
Jun052012

APSCU Partially Wins Appeal

Document:

Reuters, 6/5/12

Summary:

Brief summary of rulings by The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that agreed partially with the lawsuit filed by the proprietary school organization.

Thursday
May172012

Groups Oppose New Restrictions on Veterans

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/16/12

Summary:

News coverage of hearings before a "subcommittee of the House of Representatives' Veterans Affairs Committee" where some higher education groups such as APSCU opposed the regulations introduced in Executive Order 13607. Veterans advocacy groups applauded the moves as necessary to prevent fraud.

Wednesday
May162012

IFAP Letters & Announcements

Document:

Information for Financial Aid Professionals, May 2012

Summary:

The Department issued 36 Dear Colleague Letters and Electronic Announcements through May 2012 to explain and clarify the gainful employment rules. This page collects them all.

Friday
May042012

Access to Success Midterm Report

Document:

The Education Trust, May 2012

Summary:

A group of public university systems created the Access to Success Initiative in fall 2007 in order to improve access and completion at their schools. In fact, they set two specific goals:

  • Increase the number of college graduates in their states
  • Ensure those graduates more broadly represent their states’ high school graduates

This report marks the midpoint of the 10-year process. While the schools so far have improved access for underrepresented students, the success rates have not improved enough to close gaps between groups of students. In some (mostly two-year) schools, completion rates declined for these students.

Friday
May042012

Politics & Student Debt

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 5/3/12

Summary:

As many in higher education applaud recent administration and political attention to college access and affordability, the risk remains that this attention will shift from the federal financial aid system to rising tuition.

Monday
Apr092012

What Students Really Pay

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/8/12

Summary:

The Chronicle produced a detailed look at what every student in the freshman class at Elmhurst College in Illinois paid for their first year of college. Like most similar colleges, Elmhurst cannot cover all its students' financial needs. "This means the gift aid students receive may be related to their financial situation, how badly the college wants them, or both."

Friday
Apr062012

Problems with California's State Approval of Vocational Schools

Document: 

The Bay Citizen, 4/5/12

Summary:

News story about the fact that 130 vocational schools continue to operate in California even though their state approval expired. The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, established in 2010, is responsible for approving private vocational schools in the state. However, the Bureau indicated that "limited staffing prevented them from cracking down."

Wednesday
Apr042012

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Must Return Title IV Funds

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/4/12

Summary:

News brief regarding a new report from the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General that found that the small Catholic school should return $42 million in Title IV funds received between 2005 and 2010. The audit reached this conclusion by finding that more than 50% of the institution's students were enrolled in correspondence courses. The audit defined the online courses as correspondence courses in this case.

Monday
Apr022012

New Faculty Think Tank Criticizes Completion Agenda

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 4/2/12

Summary:

In a new report the Center for the Future of Higher Education Policy, a faculty-focused think tank, argues that technology and cost-cutting will not solve the access crisis in defunded community colleges. This group is more concerned with students intending to transfer to bachelor degree programs than students pursuing terminal associate degrees. The report criticized the focus on workforce development because it "threatens academic quality and student access, as well as social mobility."

Monday
Apr022012

Three-year Degrees Becoming More Popular

Document:

National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (NAICU), 3/29/12

Summary:

NAICU published a list of several efforts launched by private universities to control costs. This includes five more schools offering three-year bachelor's degree programs.

Monday
Apr022012

The Ryan Budget and Student Loans

Document:

Forbes, 3/31/12

Summary:

Guest columnist Allan Collinge argues that the Ryan budget's application of "fair value" accounting to the federal student loan program falsely concludes that the system is losing money. "So, to say that the federal government is losing money, not making it (and a ton of it) on the new, Direct Loan program would be beyond incredible.  It would be a lie."

Thursday
Mar292012

Private Sector Startup Attempts to Sidestep Loan System 

Document:

Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/29/12

Summary:

New story covering the approach taken by New Charter University, a private sector online school. The model combines elements of Western Governors University's competency model with affordable tuition. In fact, the tuition is "$796 per semester, or $199 a month, for as many classes as they can finish." According to the founder, Gene Wade, avoiding the loan system is important due to "financial-aid regulatory problems that arise with self-paced models that aren't based on seat time."

Wednesday
Mar212012

States Pursue Investigations of Private Sector Schools

Document: 

Inside Higher Ed, 3/21/12

Summary:

Jack Conway, the Kentucky Attorney General and leader of a joint investigation by 23 state attorneys general, revealed some of the areas the group intends to pursue during a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. In the absence of election-year federal action, these state investigations are the primary way that governments are addressing practices at private sector colleges. However, thus far they have declined to "take on" one of the sector's major players.

Wednesday
Mar212012

Proposal to Make Colleges Earn Federal Dollars

Document:

The Atlantic, 3/19/12

Summary:

This column by Marty Nemko of the University of California argues that instead of reducing the amount of federal financial aid flowing to schools, the system should be fundamentally changed. This change would tie the amount of available financial aid to student outcomes: "[schools] should be required to demonstrate freshman-to-senior growth in learning and employability that even minimally justifies the four to eight years, enormous cost, and risk of not graduating."

Wednesday
Mar212012

Westwood College Settles Suit with Colorado

Document:

Inside Higher Ed, 3/15/12

Summary:

Westwood College will pay $4.5 million to settle a case alleging that the school "inflated its job placement rates and misled prospective students about the average wages of graduates, transferability of course credits and the total cost of Westwood degrees." The College will pay $2 million to Colorado and use the remaining $2.5 million as a restitution fund for students in the College's tuition financing plan.