Education Trust News

A Gross Disparity

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Obama Administration Rewards Colleges Despite Achievement Gaps

By Clarise McCants, Ed Trust Summer Intern

Snagging a Cabinet member or other prominent administration official as a commencement speaker has long been a coveted honor for postsecondary institutions. This spring, several of President Obama’s Cabinet members are giving commencement addresses at well-known colleges and universities.

‘Gainful Employment’ Regulation is a Disappointment

The Obama administration’s new “gainful employment” regulation is a disappointing stumble on America’s path toward regaining the global lead in college attainment. 

The abuses of career colleges have been well and repeatedly documented. But the final, watered-down rule does not do nearly enough to curb these abuses. It provides students and taxpayers with only the most meager of protections against an aggressive industry bent on exponential growth and ever-escalating profits. In the end, the 436-page document is little more than an a la carte menu of ways these institutions can game the system.

College, Career-Ready Standards To Get Online Boost

Too many students who graduate from high school emerge without the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and the workplace. A new online effort now aims to provide 24-hour, high-quality support for teachers who are working to better prepare their students.

High College Costs, Low Aid Burden Struggling Families

A report released today by The Education Trust documents how the financial-aid policies of colleges, universities, states, and the federal government together limit — rather than expand — access to higher education for millions of low-income young people.

Data on the “net price” of college — that is the amount that families must pay after all sources of grant aid are accounted for — for every college and university in the country, were recently released for the first time by the U.S. Department of Education. "Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students" uncovers a new and disheartening picture of college opportunity for low-income students. The Ed Trust analysis reveals that the average low-income family must pay or borrow an amount roughly equivalent to 72 percent of its annual household income each year — just to send one child to a four-year college.  

Balancing Equity and Privacy

Information is one of the most important tools in the fight for equity and high achievement for all, but confusion about a federal law designed to protect student privacy has unnecessarily halted the flow of critical information.

House Should Get Serious About Education

On Capitol Hill, the House Education and Workforce Committee is about to mark up the first in a series of bills designed to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The bill on the table will be the Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act (H.R. 1891), sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), which eliminates 43 existing education programs. That’s it. That’s all it does. Yes, times are tough and money is tight, but America’s children deserve more.

Senate Action Saves Pell, For Now

On May 25, the U.S. Senate rejected the House of Representative’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal. The vote was 40-57. The defeat, largely the result of the public uproar over the Medicare provisions contained in the House’s budget, saved the Pell Grant program, at least for the moment.

However, public concern about Medicare cannot protect Pell forever. In fact, the budget-cutting fervor that’s seized Capitol Hill, combined with the political pressure on members of Congress to protect Medicare, will force them to seek cuts in other places. That makes other critical programs like Pell Grants extremely vulnerable.