Renascence School Education News - private school

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)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Universities Are Not Teaching Innovation

Forbes – Henry Doss

“Our system of higher education is out of whack with the future, and with innovation; and it is at direct odds with what we say we believe. Not only are our universities not teaching innovation or delivering an innovation experience, they seem to be doing their best to destroy innovative thinking in young people. This is not intentional, but it may be all the more insidious for being unplanned, unnoticed and unseen. Business leaders, politicians and economists all say more or less the same thing: The future depends on innovation and without it we are doomed as a country and a society to second-class status. So innovation, and those who can lead and cause innovation, are at a premium. You would think we would respond to this in our system of higher education; but, in fact, we are doing the exact opposite.”(more)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Are So Many College Students Turning Down Free Money?

The Atlantic – Terrance F. Ross

“The ceremonial tossing of college-graduation caps into the air was once a symbol of liberation. Now, it often signifies a future tethered to massive student debt, which takes a borrower 14 years on average to repay. Most recent graduates struggle to escape its wrath; after all, student debt in the United States now amounts to $1.16 trillion, $31 billion more than it was last year…So, why did prospective college students, according to new estimates, turn down nearly $3 billion in free federal-aid money last year? The answer appears to be two-fold: the red tape of the financial-aid process and the widespread financial illiteracy plaguing the nation.”(more)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Don’t Ask ‘What Can I Do With This Major?’

The Huffington Post – Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D.

“A really smart student of mine who has been getting stellar grades in Economics was considering it as his major. But he wanted to know what he could do with it. I have had that question regarding every subject you can name. And the reality is that it is a bad question. It is the wrong question. It assumes that the subject is what you will do…The question is what skills will I get from this major that I can use in the course of my multifaceted career. Actually most students don’t know that they will have multifaceted careers. They could have 8 different jobs before they are 30 and maybe 3 careers before they retire (most likely at 70ish.) What majors deliver are bundles of skill sets.”(more)

Family Influence on Education

Inside Higher Ed – Kaitlin Mulhere

“Spending your teenage years in a single-parent family puts you at a larger educational disadvantage today than it did 40 years ago, claims a new study. In 2009, young adults who spent time living in single-parent families had completed 1.32 fewer years of schooling than their peers from two-parent families, according to a paper published last week…The college completion rate also was 26 percentage points lower for 24-year-olds who lived in single parent homes as teens. Both gaps have more than doubled since 1978, when there was a 0.63-year difference in schooling completed and a 12 percentage point difference in college completion rates.”(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)

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Discussion On Higher Education Accountability

Forbes – John Ebersole

“A recent New York Times op-ed, “How to hold colleges accountable,” lists a number of problems with contemporary higher education and offers the solution of greater accountability. While I commend the authors, Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler of the Washington think tank Third Way for their multi-dimensional assessment, their conclusion warrants further discussion, along with acknowledgement of progress already being made. These authors present their concerns under three umbrella headings – quality of instruction, outcome transparency, and financial aid. In looking at each, there is much to applaud. For instance they hit the mark in regard to the uneven quality of teaching and its impact on retention. As MIT president Rafael Reif noted in his 2013 remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, “We have spectacular researchers [at MIT] who are lousy teachers.” Many can relate to Reif’s assessment as they think of the need to endure, the relentless monotone of a brilliant professor reading from notes or dense slides. Yet, how can we be critical when the average classroom instructor has had no formal training or preparation. The fact that 80% of faculty are not using innovative teaching methods (per the cited Gates study) is neither surprising, nor defensible.”(more)

College freshmen need to beware of bait-and-switch aid offers

Reuters – Liz Weston

“Families receiving college financial aid offers this spring should beware: what they see this year may not be what they get next year. Some colleges make their most generous offers to high school seniors as a lure to attend, a practice known as “front-loading.” But those returning for their sophomore and subsequent years at university may get thousands of dollars less in grants and scholarships than they did as freshmen. Often, the free money is replaced by student loans. About half of all colleges front-load their grants, according to financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, who analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistic’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.”(more)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Even With Debt, College Still Pays Off

The Atlantic – Gillian B. White

“Widespread unemployment among recent college graduates during, and following, the recession combined with climbing student-loan debt, has left many wondering whether or not a college education is a good or necessary investment after all. In economic terms, the answer is still yes. Though the cost of college is increasing, a variety of empirical evidence suggests that the earnings associated with a bachelor’s degree still trump the debt that students incur in most cases. According to data from the New York Fed, college graduates earn 80 percent more than their peers who didn’t attend, or didn’t finish, undergrad—and they’re also less likely to wind up unemployed than those who didn’t go to college.”(more)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The most common college financial aid mistakes — and how to avoid them

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a gateway to money for college. Not only is it used to apply for federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Stafford Loans, but it is also used to apply for student financial aid from state governments and most colleges and universities. But, applying for financial aid can be complicated. Financial aid involves an alphabet soup of acronyms, like FAFSA, EFC and SAR, and is like speaking a foreign language. has more than 750 terms defined in its financial aid glossary. The FAFSA itself has more than 100 numbered questions, presenting many opportunities for potential errors. The “Filing the FAFSA” book, available for free download at, offers hundreds of pages of advice and insights into completing the FAFSA correctly. Some of the most common errors involving the FAFSA that affect financial aid eligibility include:.”(more)