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The Looming Student Loan Crisis Is Worse Than We Thought

Education Next – Judith Scott-Clayton

“This report analyzes new data on student debt and repayment, released by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2017. Previously available data have been limited to borrowers only, follow students for a relatively short period (3-5 years) after entering repayment, and had only limited information on student characteristics and experiences. The new data allow for the most comprehensive assessment to date of student debt and default from the moment students first enter college, to when they are repaying loans up to 20 years later, for two cohorts of first-time entrants (in 1995-96 and 2003-04).” (more)

The 8 Most Confusing Things About Fafsa

The New York Times – Charlie Jarvis

“The high cost of college makes financial aid unavoidable for most students. And this means undertaking the lengthy and often complicated process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as Fafsa. The form can be confusing — so much so that each year about 25 percent of Fafsa forms are abandoned mid-process, leaving billions in federal aid unclaimed. And aside from going digital in 1997, it hasn’t changed much since it was first made available in the 1970s. The form is written in a slightly counterintuitive way, to be filled out by the student rather than a parent or guardian. And there are many moving parts.”(more)

Apprenticeships? Competency-Based Programs? GOP-Led Overhaul of Higher Ed Looks to Push These Concepts Into Mainstream

The 74 Million – Laura Fay

“Rising tuition costs and increasing skepticism about the value of the traditional four-year degree are causing students, higher education organizations, and government officials to turn to alternative programs that are touted as cheaper, more flexible, and based on skills rather than classroom hours. Specifically, the Trump administration has pushed for an expansion of apprenticeships and other alternatives to the typical college experience, and the GOP-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce has drafted a new version of the Higher Education Act that pursues many of the same goals through deregulation and a focus on preparing people to fill vacant jobs.”(more)

How serious is essay plagiarism?

The Guardian – Abby Young-Powell

“Reports suggest plagiarism is rife in universities. The internet has provided a “wealth of information that can be plagiarised”, says Wendy Sutherland-Smith, an expert in plagiarism from Deakin University. As a result, a Times investigation two years ago found almost 50,000 students were caught cheating in the previous three years, amounting to a so-called “plagiarism epidemic”. The government and universities are meanwhile desperately trying to crack down on essay-mill websites, which write essays for paying students.”(more)

Laptops in the Classroom: An Open and Closed Case

Education Next – Martin R. West, Nora Gordon and Morgan S. Polikoff

“Over the past eight years, my survey course on Politics and Education in the U.S. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education came to resemble an Internet café more than a classroom, with a laptop perched on nearly every student’s desk. That’s not because the course is tech-heavy. I do use survey tools to probe students’ views on controversial issues, but this can be done through “clickers” (and now phones) rather than computers.”(more)

What STEM Students Need to Know

The Wall Street Journal – Eric Freeman and David Gelernter

“The U.S. is about to spend a small fortune on teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The White House has promised $200 million a year to expand K-12 computer-science education. Several large tech firms have pledged another $300 million to the effort. That’s a good investment in theory, but the American education system is in no position to make the most of it.”(more)