Miami university in Ohio and Michigan State University have recently joined a growing number of higher education institutions that are making efforts to expand the financial aid that's available to low-income students-guaranteeing to cover certain costs of attendance for these students.
Theft of personal data has made headlines across the country, hitting college campuses particularly hard because of the nature of college networks, which must balance wide network access with data security.
Lawmakers' rhetoric suggests they understand the value of giving low-income and minority students the opportunity to attain a higher education. Given this apparent awareness by legislators, it is a bit puzzling that need-based student aid remains such a low funding priority in local, state, and federal budgets.
The Deficit Reduction Act that became law February 8 has received harsh criticism for cutting student aid spending by $12.7 billion over five years, but it also includes provisions that will benefit many students and families. Two major challenges now face institutions of higher ed:
These are unsettling times for federal student aid. The year that just ended presented students and college administrators with a broad range of challenges, as Congress not only failed for a third straight year to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), but voted for unprecedented cuts in funding of $12.7 billion in the federal Title IV aid programs. Final passage of the legislation reducing aid funding was delayed--probably until this month--due to a procedural issue, offering the slim hope that rising public opposition may lead to smaller, though still damaging, cuts.
Although not everyone knows it, there are two Super Sundays each January. Super Bowl Sunday grabs millions of viewers, but College Goal Sunday is gaining ground. While the Super Bowl results in great fame for the winning team, something more important is being achieved on College Goal Sunday for students--a future with a college degree.
In recent years, college and university financial aid administrators and admissions personnel have witnessed the growth of an alarming trend--financial aid "consultants" who charge families for services offered for free by on-campus aid administrators. These consultants often exaggerate the complexities of the financial aid process or make promises for things they have no ability to deliver, such as guaranteed scholarship money to students. Staff at IHEs should question such activity whenever they learn of it.
As Congress continues to work toward completing the renewal, or "reauthorization," of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended in recent years, discussion has centered primarily on the nation's flagship postsecondary grant program--the Federal Pell Grant program--and the student loan programs, which together deliver more than $61 billion in assistance each year to America's college students.