Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How To Make the Most of the Single Best College Tax Break

Time – Kim Clark

“Nearly 2 million Americans pay too much in taxes because of confusion over education benefits. Here’s how to avoid that mistake. Back in January President Obama proposed consolidating many overlapping education tax benefits, a plan that appears long dead. Too bad, since millions of taxpayers make mistakes writing off education expenses on their 1040s and pay hundreds in unnecessary taxes as a result. A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found that education tax breaks were so complicated and poorly understood that 1.5 million families who were eligible for one failed to claim it and overpaid their taxes by more than $450 a year. Another 275,000 families were so confused that they opted for the wrong benefit and overpaid by an average of $284.”(more)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

6 Ways the New ‘Student Aid Bill Of Rights’ Will Help Borrowers

Time – Kim Clark

“On Tuesday President Obama proposed some relief, but experts say more is needed. President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a “student aid bill of rights” that offers about a half-dozen small but important improvements for the 40 million Americans who are dealing with student loans. While congressional action would be needed to make significant changes in the student loan program, President Obama has ordered the Department of Education to take steps by 2016 to make things simpler and easier for student borrowers.”(more)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

California faces test as it changes school performance measures

Reuters – Sharon Bernstein

“California will no longer rely solely on student test scores as a measure of how well a public school is performing, the latest effort to balance criticism of standardized testing with increased calls for accountability in public education. The change, approved unanimously on Wednesday by the Board of Education in the most populous U.S. state, coincides with implementation of a system for testing students as part of a switch to new national education standards known as Common Core. “This will give us a complete picture rather than a narrow view,” California Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson said. Along with the changes to the school performance measure, known as an Academic Performance Index or API, the Board also voted to suspend its use altogether for a year while the changes are being implemented.”(more)

It depends what you study, not where

The Economist – Staff Writer

“A new report from PayScale, a research firm, calculates the returns to a college degree. Its authors compare the career earnings of graduates with the present-day cost of a degree at their alma maters, net of financial aid. College is usually worth it, but not always, it transpires. And what you study matters far more than where you study it.”(more)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How I Saved $70,000 to Send Two Kids to College

The Huffington Post – Staff Writer

“Ten years ago I was flipping through a magazine at the doctor’s office when I came across an article about the best ways to save for college. It was a topic I’d been thinking about… a lot. Even though my kids were young — my daughter, Jai, was 10, and my son, Matthew, was 7 — I’d been putting about $25 a month into a college savings account for each of them since they were born, as well as every dollar they’d ever been given as a gift. I’d also opened South Carolina state 529 accounts for each of them, where I was depositing about $125 a month. And I was contributing to a state tuition prepayment plan too. I knew I was doing the right thing by saving so much, but I constantly wondered if it would be enough. I was starting to hear about skyrocketing tuition prices from friends who were also worried about whether they were putting enough away for their kids’ education. When I attended Spelman College in 1981, the tuition was just $3,000 a year. But when my daughter was in kindergarten 18 years later, that tuition had already shot up to nearly $12,000 a year — and I knew it was only going to increase.”(more)

Obama to announce changes for student loan repayment

Reuters – Staff Writer

“President Barack Obama is slated to speak to students at Georgia Tech on Tuesday about how he wants to make the process of repaying student loans easier to understand and manage. Obama will sign a “student aid bill of rights” and will speak about an assortment of policy tweaks and projects to try to make it easier to help people with student loans pay back their debt. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that the 40 million Americans with student loans are aware of resources to manage their debt, and that we are doing everything we can to be responsive to their needs,” said Ted Mitchell, undersecretary of education, on a conference call with reporters. More than 70 percent of U.S. students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree leave with debt, which averages $28,400.”(more)

U.S. college exam scandals open door to thriving market

Reuters – Irene Jay Liu

“Test preparation companies see a golden opportunity to expand in Asia, after a series of cheating scandals on the U.S. college entrance exam SAT pushed more students in the region to take its lesser-known rival, the ACT. Last month, SAT scores were withheld for thousands of students across Asia who took the SAT in January, the fourth consecutive exam in as many months to see widespread delays because of alleged cheating. “Students are aware of the cheating scandals and nervous that their scores will be cancelled after spending so many hours preparing for the examination,” said Edward Dunnigan, director of the SAT and ACT programmes at New Pathway Education, which has centres in China and New York.”(more)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The School Where Everyone Fills Out The FAFSA

NPR – Owen Phillips

“Every year, more than 2 million students who would qualify for federal Pell Grants fail to fill out the form that determines eligibility — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. But not one of those 2 million students goes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory School in Chicago. That’s because Alana Mbanza, the school’s college and career coach, won’t rest until all of her seniors complete the famously complicated and lengthy form, commonly known as the FAFSA. Most days you can find Mbanza, laptop under her arm, roaming the hallways. She’s looking for students who haven’t submitted their FAFSA. She can help them complete it on the spot.”(more)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

America’s High-Risk, High-Reward Higher Education System

Forbes – Andrew Kelly

“Last month, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) added to a familiar refrain, releasing a new report on how American Millennials lag behind their peers in other countries on measures of literacy, numeracy, and “problem-solving in technology rich environments.” Using data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), the authors showed that American Millennials ranked at the bottom in both numeracy and problem-solving. Fully 64 percent of Americans scored below the lowest proficiency rating on the numeracy exam, compared to about 1/3 of Millennials in places like Finland, the Netherlands, and Japan. The picture wasn’t much brighter among young workers with bachelors and graduate degrees. On the numeracy exam, American BA holders outscored their peers in only two countries—Italy and Poland. Those with grad degrees outscored counterparts in Italy, Poland, and Spain.”(more)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This Formula Can Help You Figure Out How Much to Save for College

Time – Kerri Anne Renzulli

“Congratulations for starting the saving process early and taking full advantage of compounding in that 529 account. That’s less money you’ll have to borrow later. Now for the bad news: By the time your eldest child enters college, four years at an in-state public school will cost an average $130,000 and a private-school education will run $235,000 if prices continue rising at the rate they have for the last five years. Footing the full freight will be unrealistic for most folks, especially those like you who have more than one child to put through school. Besides, you should also be saving for your own retirement—since you can’t fund that stage of life with loans as you can your kid’s education.”(more)