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Scholars See Bad Omens in Pulled Sponsorship of ‘Julius Caesar’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 8:17pm
The corporate response to a production of the play in which the assassinated ruler resembles President Trump has scholars thinking that studying the arts is more important than ever.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Colorado Chancellor Is Suspended After Domestic-Violence Probe of Assistant Coach

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 7:50pm
“Some will say these disciplinary actions go too far,” said the university system’s president. “Some will say they don’t go far enough. Not everyone will be happy.”
Categories: Higher Education News

Journals’ Retreat From Data-Sharing Mandate Puts Onus on Universities and Government

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 4:50pm
A year after announcing plans to require authors to release data associated with their published articles, medical-journal editors are now backing off, saying the necessary conditions seem years away.
Categories: Higher Education News

Lawmakers and Trade Group Criticize Education Dept. Move to Single Loan Servicer

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 3:35pm
A bicameral group of legislators sent a letter to the education secretary criticizing recent changes in how her agency chooses an outside company to service student loans.
Categories: Higher Education News

Baylor’s Provost Steps Down After Only One Year

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 11:50am
L. Gregory Jones is the second provost who has left the university in the past year and a half.
Categories: Higher Education News

Race Ethnicity and Gender of Full-Time Faculty at More Than 3,700 Institutions

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 10:45am
This sortable table shows the percentages of full-time faculty members who were members of specific racial and ethnic groups at degree-granting colleges and universities in November 2015.  
Categories: Higher Education News

Yelp for Colleges? An Economist Rates Its Usefulness

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 9:56am
His survey finds that a consumer-based ratings tool could be an effective way to measure the quality of a college.
Categories: Higher Education News

Financial Aid: Tips and Tricks for Working with Non-Traditional Students

WCET Frontiers Blog - June 12, 2017 - 8:38am

In the second of our series on financial aid issues, Brittany Hackett of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Officers (NASFAA), gives us a look at aid for non-traditional students. She also highlights some of NASFAA’s tip sheets for different types of students, such as adults or military/veterans. Join us our webcast on June 22 covering financial aid fraud in distance education.
– Russ Poulin, WCET 

When you think of college students, who are you picturing? Probably someone who just graduated from high school and is headed off to an ivy-covered campus, living away from home for the first time. While that’s still the reality for some, financial aid administrators know that today’s average college student is anything but traditional.

Non-traditional students are “students who, by choice or by life circumstances, haven’t lived life in a straight line from high school to undergrad to graduate or professional school,” Mendy Schmerer, assistant director of the Office of Student Financial Aid at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center explains.

And the non-traditional student population is quickly becoming the largest cohort of college students in America. In fact, 2015 data from the National Center on Education Statistics showed that 74 percent of all 2011-12 undergraduates had at least one characteristic that labeled them as a non-traditional student.

But non-traditional students face barriers and obstacles that other students may not.  The way many financial aid programs are designed typically addresses the need and characteristics of traditional college students, and do not often take into consideration the needs of the non-traditional student population.

As the population of non-traditional students grows on campuses around the country, here are some important things you should keep in mind to make their educational path a little easier, particularly when it comes to financial aid.

Be Aware of What Their Lives May Look Like Outside of School and Be Flexible.

For many non-traditional students, school is not their only, or even their biggest, priority. Bearing this in mind can help you tailor your communications and messaging to better assist this group.

Non-traditional students most often are older and have families, work experience, and are independent financially. It is more accurate to consider that non-traditional students are any students who have unique circumstances or who did not matriculate directly to postsecondary education after completing high school or its equivalent. So, while this group often includes older, working adults, it also can include veterans, homeless and foster youth, and undocumented students, among other groups.

“Their characteristics vary just as widely as their circumstances do,” Schmerer said. “Some have a sharp sense of focus because they’ve spent several years figuring out what they don’t want to do, but others are still wandering, which may be the very reason they have started, stopped, and restarted their educational pursuits.”

Explore New Ways and Tools to Serve Students

Between work, families, and other obligations, it can even be difficult for them to find a way to attend classes or complete assignments, let alone interact with campus offices like the financial aid office or academic advisors. By devoting some time and resources to thinking of new ways to reach students who are often not on campus during the day can make it a bit easier for these students and help set them up for success

For example, consider changing your office hours to accommodate those who work during business hours, or extending your hours into the evening or weekend. Or you could leveraging technology to make your office and services more accessible, such as video conferencing or live chatting with students who are unable to be on campus when they need assistance.

The internet also makes it easier than ever to host forms, documents, and other information in a way that is more accessible than having to visit an on-campus office, either on a website or in a portal students can access. Some schools are even beginning to experiment with using online payment systems to collect tuition and fees electronically. This is an excellent way to reduce yet another burden on already busy students.

And while email continues to rule when it comes to campus communications, leveraging other mediums to get your messages where students are most likely to see them can go a long way. “We recognize that email is not where everybody is,” Angela Johnson, vice president of enrollment management at Cuyahoga Community College, said. “We use an integrated perspective so that same content and branding is provided in multiple mediums,” including email, robocalls, social media, and text messaging, she said.

Consider Their Need to Quickly Complete Their Degree and Re-enter the Workforce

It is not unusual for college students to want to complete their degrees quickly, not only so they can enter the workforce, but so they can leave school with as little student debt as possible. This is particularly true for non-traditional students who may, in Mendy Schmerer’s words, “have household expenses that made perfect sense before returning to school, but now are awfully difficult to deal with when trying to also budget for tuition and books.” They may turn to you for guidance on what can help them to graduate quickly with the least amount of debt or what course load makes the most sense for them, both based on their personal time constraints and financially.

When it comes to financial aid, the entire process – from filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to entering student loan repayment – can be a challenge for non-traditional students. Because many non-traditional students are considered “independents,” many assume they are not eligible for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant or student loans. Avoiding jargon when discussing their financing options is key, Schmerer recommends, adding that any digital communication efforts should be clear, concise, and proactive, especially for programs that enroll high populations of adult learners.

It’s also important to consider how non-education expenses can affect non-traditional students. As mentioned before, these are students who often have families, household expenses, and other financial obligations that can be challenging to meet when they are working and attending school. One way to help students, especially low-income students, is to connect them with community resources and public benefits that may alleviate the financial strain of attending college.

Seek Advice When Faced with Special Circumstances

While it is easy to offer general advice and tips, anyone working in higher education knows that students have specific questions about their individual circumstances.Over the years, NASFAA has developed and maintained several tip sheets that are designed to help unique student populations overcome challenges to successfully navigate the financial aid process and access higher education. Tip sheets are available for military/veterans, undocumented students, adult learners, and homeless and foster youth, highlighting specific questions they will have to answer on the FAFSA.

Some tips that are useful to administrators who may get questions from these students include:

  • Knowing the definition of what a “ward” of the court is, and how it impacts a student’s financial aid applications;
  • Under which circumstances an undocumented student may be eligible for non-federal student aid or in-state tuition;
  • How bankruptcy or student loan default may impact an adult learner’s financial aid prospects; and
  • What financial information an active-duty servicemember must include on his or her FAFSA.

Check out NASFAA’s tip sheet for unique student populations and other financial aid information and resources for students and families by visiting our Students, Parents, and Counselor’s resource pages.



Brittany Hackett
NASFAA Reporter & Multimedia Coordinator






A Task Force With Falwell Is Happening, White House Says

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 11, 2017 - 12:14pm
Liberty University’s leader is to be part of a presidentially appointed panel, an official confirmed to The Chronicle. But the panel’s purpose and membership are still unclear.
Categories: Higher Education News

How a Campus Fight Drove 2 Left-Leaning Professors to Fox News

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 5:03pm
For months Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying had worried that Evergreen State College was spiraling out of control. When Tucker Carlson’s producer came calling, they were “horrified” by the decision they faced.
Categories: Higher Education News

Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Find And Fund Their Passions

U.S. Department of Education Blog - June 9, 2017 - 1:31pm

Ask anyone in America what they would expect to see when walking through an American high school, and the last thing they’d probably say is a group of students building a house! Yet that’s exactly what goes on each and every day at the Academy of Construction and Design (ACAD), located at the Integrated Design & Electronics Academy (IDEA) Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor were privileged to visit this school. During the visit, several high level officials had the opportunity to see this innovative high school apprenticeship program in action.

The trip was initially arranged to help give officials insight into what makes great Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs tick in light of the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, which requests an additional $20 million to promote innovative CTE programs in STEM fields through CTE National Programs.

“We wanted to see a program on the ground,” said James Manning, Acting Under Secretary of Education. “We want to learn what is working, what challenges are being encountered, and in what ways the Department of Education might be helpful.”

Most of our nation’s apprenticeships are housed in our postsecondary education system, but we know that to truly prepare our workforce, it’s imperative that we begin at the high school level. This is ACAD’s goal.

It doesn’t feel like a traditional school — it has a business oriented environment everywhere you look. We saw a garden that the students maintained, complete with a rain water catcher apparatus that they had built themselves. We saw work rooms and classrooms that were built to educate students to engage in hands-on careers.

And that house that the students were building? It was actually the school’s second, with the goal of ultimately selling it once finished.

At the visit’s conclusion, students, administrators, and private sector supporters engaged in a discussion focusing on the positive effects of this program on students’ lives and how parents need to see CTE as an opportunity for them. Roderic L.Woodson, advisor to the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and Partner of Holland & Knight, remarked that “too many of our young people have lost sight of the opportunity that comes with building trades and skills that will help them build a life around these careers and a future.”

And the results aren’t just academic – graduates of ACAD are already experiencing the impact that this high-quality program can have on their lives.

During the visit, officials had the opportunity to meet Treymane Chatman, a 2014 ACAD graduate who is currently a carpentry apprentice and will be moving into a full-time role within the carpentry profession later this month. Treymane shared that, as a result of ACAD, he came into the apprenticeship with the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running and handle everything he was asked to do. Treymane hopes to have a general contracting corporation one day and the skills he learned at ACAD and during his apprenticeship will help him get there.


Sam Ryan is Youth Liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education

Continue the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

The post Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Find And Fund Their Passions appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

A Filmmaker Sheds Light on a ‘Nuanced System of Hazing’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 12:11pm
As a fraternity member at Northeastern University, Byron Hurt participated in initiation rites. Now he hopes his forthcoming documentary will help educators put an end to those rituals.
Categories: Higher Education News

From Indiana Jones to Minerva McGonagall, Professors See Themselves in Fiction

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 12:02pm
We asked readers to send in their favorite fictional professors. Here’s what they said.
Categories: Higher Education News

Virtual Reality Can Teach Altruism, Empathy — and Why You Should Use Less Toilet Paper

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 11:48am
Jeremy Bailenson, a professor at Stanford University and founding director of its Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says the technology, in the right circumstances, can be educationally transformative.  
Categories: Higher Education News

Could Finland’s Strategy of Supporting Education – and Teachers’ Stature – Translate to the U.S.?

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 11:44am
A founder of the company behind Angry Birds and two others highlight how the Finish way of promoting creativity in the classroom has paid off.  
Categories: Higher Education News

How ‘College for All’ Goes Wrong

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 9, 2017 - 11:39am
Ted Dintersmith, an investor and financer of documentary films, argues that schools should give students relevant skills, not just courses to pad a college application.
Categories: Higher Education News

New Chief of the Modern Language Association Sees Signs of Hope

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 8, 2017 - 7:25pm
Amid falling enrollments and threats to federal funding for the humanities, Paula Krebs wants to seize on opportunities.
Categories: Higher Education News

NIH Abandons Plan to Limit Per-Person Grant Awards

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 8, 2017 - 7:23pm
The agency says it is shifting to a new strategy but not from its goal of helping younger scientists compete for NIH support.
Categories: Higher Education News

Can a Single Course Jeopardize an Academic Department?

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 8, 2017 - 4:42pm
The chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says higher-level administrators raised concerns about a class taught by a prominent faculty critic. The class was then canceled.
Categories: Higher Education News

Why Conservative Lawmakers Are Turning to Free-Speech Bills as a Fix for Higher Ed

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 8, 2017 - 4:30pm
Many of the sponsors share a common refrain: that college campuses have become hostage to a limited worldview — specifically, a liberal one.
Categories: Higher Education News


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