College net prices stable, reports find. Last week, the College Board released reports on “Trends in College Pricing” and “Trends in Student Aid” which found that, even though the price of college has grown, the cost to students has remained stable for the past decade. The report shows that the net cost of tuition, fees, room and board for the average student at a private, nonprofit college is about 57% of the sticker price, about $23,000 this year. This is due to increased discounts, grants and tax benefits and, adjusted for inflation, has been similar for 10 years. Tuition and fees at public universities increased less than 3% this academic year, the smallest rise in three decades, and though they continue to increase, so does financial support. The average published annual tuition and fees for in-state students at public universities totaled $8,893. When grants and deductions of tax credits are taken into account, the net amount students pay is about $3,120. The reports also showed that, after years of increasing college enrollment, the number of students in higher education decreased from 2010 to 2011.
Report on “Hot Careers” for college graduates. A new report from the University of California at San Diego Extension lists the best careers for recent and mid-career college graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
Glitches in online Common Application. The Washington Post reported that the Common Application was experiencing difficulties with its online application process, causing some universities to delay their application deadlines. The online program was revamped this year but technical problems led to glitches which prohibited some students from completing applications.
Sen. Markey questions protection of student data. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressing concerns about how K-12 schools are outsourcing management and assessment of student data to technology vendors. Sen. Markey said the increased use of student data by private companies and third parties raises concerns about student and parent privacy rights. He asked Duncan to detail the department’s analysis of how changes made to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may have affected student privacy and why the department had not considered those effects. Common Sense Media, an organization that rates media and educational technology used by children, announced a new initiative last week to encourage the educational technology industry to safeguard student data from falling into the hands of corporate interests and wrote a letter to industry leaders.
State disparities in math and science. The National Center for Education Statistics released the results of a study based on the National Assessment of Education Progress and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. The report found that students in most states tested above the global average, while students from some states were far behind, being outperformed by Italy, Lithuania and Hungary. Education Week reported on the findings.
Ed Dept approves NCLB waiver for Puerto Rico. Education Secretary Duncan announced the approval of a waiver for Puerto Rico to be excused from the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In total, 42 states, Washington D.C., and now Puerto Rico have been granted waivers. Illinois, Wyoming and the Bureau of Indian Education are waiting for a response from the department, while Iowa had a request rejected last year. Puerto Rico got approved for a waiver, as did Alaska, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia, without adopting the Common Core standards in reading and math.
We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Oct. 28, 2013.
Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.