Category Archives: College Completion

Even on Welcoming Campuses, LGBT Students Face Hurdles to College Completion

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Colleges across the US have made major strides in their efforts to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.

But a recent New York Times op-ed published by a University of Mississippi grad provides an important reminder that much work still needs to be done.

By his own admission, Dylan Lewis “thrived in college.” At the University of Mississippi he finally felt free to be himself. Lewis joined the student government, led campus tours, and felt safe and supported.

Yet despite a welcoming campus, Lewis— like many LGBT youth — faced unique challenges on his path to college completion.

Continue reading Even on Welcoming Campuses, LGBT Students Face Hurdles to College Completion

Report: New Technologies Could Help Improve Financial Aid Process

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Financial concerns cause nearly 3 million students to drop out of college each year.

Researchers at Tyton Partners believe a student-centered approach to financial aid could help reduce those numbers. In a recent report, the Boston-based advising firm chronicled the challenges posed by the current system and examined potential solutions through a survey of more than 1,800 higher ed administrators.

Their take? Targeted communication could help improve the process for both students and colleges.

“According to administrators, the biggest challenges preventing students from accessing aid are lack of student engagement, lack of awareness, and insufficient financial aid,” the report notes. “All three of these issues are addressable through improved communication between the institution and the student.”

Continue reading Report: New Technologies Could Help Improve Financial Aid Process

Share Advice For First-Gen Students

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What should first-generation college students know before they head to campus?

A new social media campaign organized by Better Make Room is encouraging college counselors and others to share their wisdom on Twitter.

Contribute your own tips by using #AdviceForFirstGen and #BetterMakeRoom in your tweets.

Tips already submitted include:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Don’t forget to renew your FAFSA every year.
  • When stressed, stop and smell the roses.

Continue reading Share Advice For First-Gen Students

Survey: Many Americans Would Change Their College Choices

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Although most American degree holders believe they received a quality education, more than a quarter say they would attend a different college if they had it all to do over, a new national poll shows.

A survey of 89,492 US adults by Gallup and the Strada Education Network found that 28 percent of respondents wish they would have selected a different institution. And given the chance, 36 percent would have chosen a different major.

Continue reading Survey: Many Americans Would Change Their College Choices

Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

A young female college student between classes.
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In just a few short months, a new crop of freshmen will begin their college journey.

For first-year students, four years may seem like more than enough time to pick a major and earn a degree.

But national data shows that roughly one in five students take longer to complete college. And each extra year cuts into their lifetime earnings and retirement savings, according to an analysis by NerdWallet — a San Francisco-based consumer finance company.

“Taking six years to get a four-year college degree can cost students up to almost $300,000 in tuition, interest on loans, and forgone income and retirement savings,” the report notes.

Continue reading Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

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Graduation is fast-approaching, and a new national survey suggests that college seniors are worried about money.

Researchers with Barnes & Noble College interviewed 312 graduating seniors in April. Here’s what they found:

  • Salary is important to job-seeking graduates, with 44 percent of respondents citing pay as their top priority in the job hunt.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents are worried about student loans.
  • And 68 percent of students listed “earning enough money” as a top concern.

Continue reading Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

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Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

Spring is a season of mixed emotions for school counselors. As students come in to share the exciting news of college acceptances and generous scholarships, an equal number of families come in with questions that are harder to answer:

“What more were they looking for?”

“Don’t they know this isn’t enough to cover my needs?”

“Why does college cost so much?”

It turns out this last question has a pretty clear answer—it’s complicated, but it’s clear.

“It doesn’t have to cost this much, if you start at a community college and transfer.”

Continue reading Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

Report: Rural-Urban Gap in College Completion Grows

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The rural-urban gap in college completion continues to grow, with fewer than one in five adults in rural communities holding a four-year degree, according to a new report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Between 2000 and 2015, the share of urban adults with at least a bachelor’s degree grew from 26 percent to 33 percent, while in rural areas the share grew from 15 percent to 19 percent,” report authors note. “Therefore, the urban-rural gap in the share of adults with bachelor’s degrees grew from 11 to 14 percentage points.”

Continue reading Report: Rural-Urban Gap in College Completion Grows

IHEP Launches #CollegeNotPrison Campaign

ihepvideoA new public awareness campaign seeks to bring attention to the financial aid barriers justice-involved youth face when pursuing higher education.

#CollegeNotPrison — a initiative of The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) — made a splash on social media this week with a short video sharing the story of Alton Pitre.

As a teen, Pitre was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. He spent nearly two years behind bars before the charges were dropped and the case was dismissed.

Pitre, now a senior at Morehouse College (GA), is an advocate for criminal justice reform. He also speaks out about the need to make college affordable for more young people. In the video, Pitre, 25, notes that while a college education offers great long-term rewards, cost keeps many young people from completing a degree.

Continue reading IHEP Launches #CollegeNotPrison Campaign

Report: Many Community College Students Struggle Financially

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The majority of community college students live paycheck to paycheck, and nearly half say a lack of finances could cause them to leave school, national survey results show.

The findings — included in a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCSE) — underscores the role finances play in educational attainment.

Continue reading Report: Many Community College Students Struggle Financially