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Report: Financial Struggles in Community College Go Beyond Tuition

Education News – Raymond Scott

“Those who enroll in community colleges often do so in the hope of receiving an affordable education. There is a growing body of research, however, that suggests low tuition is too often misunderstood as low total cost. In other words, it requires much more for students to stay in college rather than just a low-tuition. Indeed, tuition composes only 20% of community college students’ total costs nationally…Beyond tuition, basic needs such as such as housing and food are part of the cost of a college education, and students need to cover the costs of transportation, textbooks, and supplies to attend class and study. Moreover, these financial obligations do not include unanticipated costs…The report illustrates that even at the lowest tuition colleges, students cannot afford the costs required to obtain a college education.”(more)

Why International Students Benefit from Going to College in America

Forbes – Daniel R. Porterfield

““Education is all a matter of building bridges,” said the novelist Ralph Ellison. As the president of Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), I see such construction happening every day. More than one-third of our current first-year class comes from at least 1,000 miles away—and 14 percent of our entire student body is made up of international students, hailing from 55 countries. Such international reach reflects the increasingly global character of today’s American campuses…philosopher Martha Nussbaum believes we must cultivate in undergraduates capabilities like “the ability to assess historical evidence, to use and think critically about economic principles, to assess accounts of social justice, to speak a foreign language, to appreciate the complexities of the major world religions.” These are characteristic values of American colleges and universities—qualities of education that the international community is increasingly coming to see as essential for our interdependent multicultural world…it also benefits American students to attend colleges with global student bodies. Again and again, U.S.-born students describe the transformational value of learning with and from peers from around the world…Everyone wins when tomorrow’s global leaders spend their formative years learning intensively, sharing cultures, solving problems and building bridges, together.”(more)

Rate of increase in degree-holders continues to lag behind national goal

The Hechinger Report – Jon Marcus

“The rate by which Americans are earning two-and-four year degrees continues to lag stubbornly behind what’s needed to meet national goals, and declining college and university enrollments threaten to make things worse, according to a new report…Why it matters: The country is behind schedule in its goal of increasing the proportion of people with degrees to 60 percent by 2025…increasing the percentage of degree-holders is essential for the nation to compete.”(more)

Focusing on Financial Literacy for Students

Homeroom – Elizabeth Coogan

“April is National Financial Capability Month. Decisions about paying for higher education can have lasting impact on individuals and our economy…Financial literacy, which can be defined as an understanding of how to earn, manage, and invest money, has a critical impact on students’ ability to make smart choices about which institute of higher education to attend, what to study, how to pay for college, and how to manage student loan debt after graduation…The choices students make while in school often have a direct impact on their financial futures…To help students make wise decisions about higher education, our office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) offers several learning resources…”(more)

Becoming a global citizen is just as important as getting a degree

The Daily Evergreen – BOGDAN (THEO) MYNKA

“We often talk about how getting a college education is one of the most important steps to becoming a responsible citizen and making a valuable contribution to society and future generations. But is that all it takes? Is taking the minimum required classes for a degree in your field enough to make one ready for the real world, or is there a problem – across the entire country perhaps – that involves our education system being too self-centered and isolated from the rest of the world? I think so…A recent survey conducted by the University of Hawaii noted that “40 percent of companies surveyed missed international business opportunities because of a lack of internationally competent personnel.”…Patriotism is still important – understanding the values of this nation is one of the most valuable qualities we can possess – but putting that patriotism into a global perspective and understanding the problems and cultures of the rest of the world is just as important and that should be part of our responsibility as college students.”(more)

Middle-class minorities are most at risk of falling behind on student loans, report says

The Washington Post – Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

“Middle-class African Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately falling behind on student loan payments, signaling that higher education is failing to ward off financial instability for minorities, according to newly released data. Researchers at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth analyzed delinquency rates, average loan balances and median income at a Zip-code level and found higher numbers of past-due student loans in predominantly African American and Hispanic communities…“These data tell us that debt-financed higher education is not the solution to racial inequality, since it doesn’t overcome longstanding economic disparities. It may even be contributing to the problem,” said Marshall Steinbaum, a research economist…”(more)