Washington’s Wintry Mix of Ed News

DC Shuttle

GAO warns of college debit cards. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report expressing concerns with college student debit cards. “Congress should consider requiring that financial firms providing debit and prepaid card services to colleges file their agreements for public review and provide other relevant information,” the letter recommends along with other changes, according to a report in Inside Higher Ed.

Rubio calls for new accreditation system. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced his plans for a higher education overhaul at a National Journal event. He called on the federal government to create a system that would award college credit to students for completing free online classes or for knowledge gained through life experience. His plan includes changes to accreditation, expanded income-based repayment and a focus on innovation. The senator has called for a unit-record system, a way to track students after college by linking educational and employment data. The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, which Sen. Rubio co-sponsored with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), would require colleges to disclose information on students’ salaries.

Education Dept. releases FAFSA data. The U.S. Department of Education released data on the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by high school.

Pew reports on cost of not going to college. The Pew Institute released a report, The Rising Cost of Not Going to College, which states that “young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education. And when today’s young adults are compared with previous generations, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater in the modern era.”

College rating system. A week after a symposium on the progress of the proposed college rating system, colleges this week focused on the effect the system would have if it were put in place as it is currently proposed, and the analysis is not good. The White House released a fact sheet last year and is using a college scorecard but has called for a rating system to in place for the 2015-16 school year.

Meetings advance gainful employment. The White House Office of Management and Budget is meeting with interest groups on the gainful employment rule as it moves closer to publishing the rule in the Federal Register.

Miller asks Ed secretary to scrutinize NCLB waivers. Lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan saying that the administration’s waivers from the standards of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are not ensuring equity in schools—the traditional role of the federal government in education. In the letter, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and other Democrats, said the waivers should require more in the areas of low performers, subgroups, students with disabilities, English learners, graduation rates, teacher equality and data analysis. Meanwhile, the American Enterprise Institute released a new report on the NCLB waivers.

Letter IDs financial aid websites as misleading, unlawful. Many universities have changed their financial aid websites after seeing a letter that House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Rep. Cummings wrote that he had identified 111 university websites that might be violating the law by leading students to believe that fees are required to apply for aid, according to a story in Inside Higher Ed.

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 Feb. 18, 2014.

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.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>