DeVos Makes Case for Alternatives to 4-Year College

WASHINGTON—Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told a gathering of finance executives that more students should have access to career pathways other than a bachelor’s degree and that more companies should be willing to hire people with alternative credentials.

“For students going forward, giving a lot more information about what they’re buying is of critical importance,” Mrs. DeVos said. “I think there are too many young people starting a traditional college degree without any idea about what they want to pursue.”

She Left the Education Dept. for Groups It Curbed. Now She’s Back, With Plans.

WASHINGTON — Depending on whom you ask, Diane Auer Jones has returned to the Education Department with either a mission or a vengeance.

A little more than a decade ago she resigned as an assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the George W. Bush administration, after protesting the department’s treatment of an accreditor that oversaw religiously affiliated, liberal-arts colleges. Department officials saw accountability in their crackdown; Ms. Jones saw bias against a gatekeeper for nontraditional college degrees.

“Favored accreditors are treated differently than unfavored accreditors,” she said in an interview. “That was my awakening to how the current system could be manipulated to pick winners and losers.”

Now, as the chief architect of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s higher education agenda, Ms. Jones is leading the charge to overhaul the accreditation system, and, to critics, revive the fortunes of for-profit organizations that operate low-quality education programs that have a track record of shortchanging students and taxpayers.

Majority of Americans would take on debt to cover their kid’s college, survey says

While the cost of higher education Opens a New Window. can certainly be expensive, results of a study released Tuesday unveiled just how many parents would go into debt for it on behalf of their kids.

A survey from Country Financial showed that more than half of Americans polled – 56 percent – were open to fronting the bill for college and taking on debt as a result, according to a news release Opens a New Window. that detailed the survey results.

“The survey found that 56 percent of Americans would voluntarily go into debt to pay for their child’s college education, with the average person willing to take on $31K in debt,” the company said.


Strategies for Improving Student Success

Enrollment isn’t colleges’ biggest problem. It’s completion. It’s still the case that nearly a third of students at four-year institutions don’t have a degree after six years.  And these students disproportionately come from lower-income backgrounds. Students from the lowest income families have about an 11 percent chance of graduating from college within six years.
There are, of course, many reasons why students drop out or fail out. The factors that the public often blames for this — academic unpreparedness and disengagement among students and misplaced priorities among faculty — however, turn out to be far less important than non-academic factors. These include cost, including opportunity costs, competing demands on students’ time, wasted credits (when students transfer or shift majors), various life issues, and a lack of a sense of belonging. Transportation issues, childcare issues, work and family responsibilities, add to the challenge.

So what is to be done?

Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement # 120 – Announcement of Applicable 2019 GE Compliance Dates

On June 18, 2018, the Department of Education published a Notice in the Federal Registerthat allowed additional time, until July 1, 2019, for institutions to comply with the requirements of the Gainful Employment (GE) regulations in 34 CFR 668.412 (d) and (e). In this electronic announcement, we remind institutions that they will soon need to comply with these provisions. Specifically, beginning on July 1, 2019, affected institutions will be required to provide a prospective student or a third party acting on behalf of the prospective student, as a separate document, a copy of the disclosure template before the prospective student signs an enrollment agreement, completes registration, or makes a financial commitment to the institution.