David Hernández is an assistant professor of Latino/a studies at Mount Holyoke College. But before joining academia, he was a first-generation university student.
Having experienced university life from two perspectives, Hernández recently reflected on what would have helped make college more accessible to him the first time around.
He wrote a personal essay featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education that shares his experience as an 18-year-old and asks, “What could today’s universities and colleges do differently for a student like me?”
What if America’s private colleges could stop their annual increases in tuition or even drop their prices down?
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) has an idea it says would do just that.
NAICU has recommended that Congress give private, nonprofit colleges a temporary anti-trust exemption for the purposes of promoting affordability.
Current laws ban discussion about prices and discounts — including student aid — among competitors in any industry. NAICU says that this has led to a vicious cycle of ongoing tuition inflation and has forced private colleges to offer larger and larger discounts on the sticker price to stay competitive.
They believe that if schools could talk to one another, they could end this cycle and start targeting financial aid to the students who need it most. The thinking is that if everyone made the decision to collectively lower tuition, then no college would feel like it “lost” because it wasn’t offering the huge discounts that are currently available to counter price inflation.
A freshman college student in Tennessee isn’t experiencing buyer’s remorse over her college choice. But she has some issues with the way she was told to shop for one.
“I was also told by counselors to apply to 100 colleges. I was never told why that number was chosen, but my peers were told the same,” Anisah Karim, now a psychology student at the University of Memphis, wrote in Chalkbeat.
“We were often pulled out of class to complete these applications, which took away from instructional time — about an hour per day. My high school also ran on an infraction system, and not turning in college applications and other documents led to disciplinary actions.”
Money talks. It’s an old adage, but it rings true even when it comes to college graduation rates.
A new study from Oregon State University found that both the socioeconomic status of a college’s student body and the school’s own revenue and expenditures are significant predictors in whether first-time students will complete their degree and graduate within six years.
Researchers focused solely on four-year broad access institutions, which are colleges and universities that accept 80 percent or more of their applicants.
“For those students, resources really matter, in a way that is different from the population as a whole,” Gloria Crisp, the study’s lead author, said. “That finding is consistent with the persistent inequities in college completion rates for these underserved populations.”
NACAC Member Milyon Trulove believes that his school has found the magic recipe for recruiting international students in the current political climate.
Trulove’s school, Reed College (OR), relies on international students to make up 8 to 9 percent of each incoming class and rumblings from guidance counselors at international high schools and internal projections following the 2016 election had the school worried.
In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Trulove, Reed’s vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, shared the strategy that brought the college a record number of international students for the upcoming school year.
It’s hard to avoid conversations about politics these days. This new reality has trickled down to the college admission process where counselors on both sides of the desk are now commonly asked to field tricky questions about political reputations and perceived leanings of a college campus.
Inside Higher Ed recently reported on a group of counselors at the annual meeting of the Higher Education Consultants Association who said that parents were rejecting their children’s college choices based on the schools’ politics.
But while parents might be hesitant about the political climate on campus, it seems to be something students want out of their college experience. UCLA’s 50th annual CIRP Freshman Survey, which surveyed 141,189 full-time, first-year students from around the US, found that student interest in political and civic activity had reached its highest level in the history of the survey.
Louisiana became the first US state to ban the box on college admission applications in June.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 688 into law on June 16, The Louisiana Weekly reported. The new law prohibits all public postsecondary education institutions in the state from asking about a prospective student’s criminal history during the admission process. In other words, the state banned the check box that asks applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a crime.
After discovering that their classmates did not have a real understanding of racial injustice, then-tenth graders Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi set out in 2014 to start a conversation and initiate change.
The textbook is now on its third edition and has been sold to about 500 schools and individuals across 15 states. Now seniors at Princeton High School in New Jersey, the girls are looking at their next steps for the textbook and the online community.
Their goal? Ensure K-12 students in schools nationwide “develop the historical and sociological toolkit for racial literacy” — a knowledge base they hope will ultimately help young people recognize racial justice and inspire them to create a better world.
Guo and Vulchi recently sat down with Teen Vogue to discuss the project and their goals for the future. Here’s an excerpt of their chat: