State’s new funding model coming in December

New formula must better include students of different socio-economic statuses, increase future workforce credentials

moneyrollccresizedA new higher education funding formula the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) is charged with creating must factors in graduation rates and retention.

The mandate to CCHE to create a new funding formula comes from a bill signed into law May 2014. That law is designed to support statewide goals for higher education contained within CCHE’s master plan, according to a Colorado Department of Education summary.

Among those goals are increasing the number of postsecondary credentials awarded to meet future workforce needs; improving student success through better outcomes in basic skills education; and enhancing access to postsecondary education to ensure the system reflects the state’s changing demographics while reeducating degree attainment gaps.…Read More

Prepaid tuition plans flawed but still popular

A prepaid tuition plan allows families to buy future tuition units or credits at current prices.

Prepaid college tuition plans are no longer the surefire solution to runaway tuition costs they once seemed.

The mostly state-sponsored plans were designed as a way to save for college by locking in at least a portion of future tuition at today’s prices.

The premise remains sound: Pay now to minimize the shock of rising costs. After all, tuition has increased an average 7 percent annually since 1990 and shows no sign of slowing down.…Read More

Community college plans to offer two-tier course pricing

Such a dual program appears to be a first for a public institution, but some experts have questioned the legality and equity of the plan.

Faced with deep funding cuts and strong student demand, Santa Monica College in California is pursuing a plan to offer a selection of higher-cost classes to students who need them, provoking protests from some who question the fairness of such a two-tiered education system.

Under the plan, approved by the governing board and believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the two-year college would create a nonprofit foundation to offer such in-demand classes as English and math at a cost of about $200 per unit.

Currently, fees are $36 per unit, set by the Legislature for California community college students. That fee will rise to $46 this summer.…Read More

Colleges seek cash for educational technology as budgets shrink

Thirty-five percent of college students said lecture capture technology has improved their grades.

Thirteen states are set to drop higher-education funding by double digits in 2012, the federal stimulus has run out, and student enrollment continues its uptick, forcing colleges and universities to find financially creative ways to fund pricey educational technology such as campus lecture capture systems.

By reclassifying lecture capture technology in a bid for federal money and dispersing the cost of lecture capture systems over several parts of a campus budget, educational technology leaders from colleges large and small are engaged in a kind of budgetary gymnastics to keep lecture capture systems that have proven popular among most students.

The budget-conscious ways to maintain—and even expand—lecture capture systems were detailed in a report published recently by the Center for Digital Education and Tegrity, a company that makes lecture capture technology.…Read More

State higher education spending sees big decline

State funding for higher education has declined because of a slow recovery from the recession and the end of federal stimulus money, according to a study released Monday, the Associated Press reports. Overall, spending declined by some $6 billion, or nearly 8 percent, over the past year, according to the annual Grapevine study by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. The reduction was slightly lower, at 4 percent, when money lost from the end of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act was not taken into account. The funding reductions, seen across nearly every state, have resulted in larger class sizes and fewer course offerings at many universities and come as enrollment continues to rise…

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College tuition hikes fail to stop cutbacks on campus

The federal government has stepped in to help students from the lowest-income families, adding $17 billion to the Pell grant program.

America’s public colleges and universities have burned through nearly $10 billion in government stimulus money and are still facing more tuition hikes, fewer course offerings and larger class sizes.

Many college students are already bearing the brunt of the cuts in their wallets as they prepare for their future careers.

“This next academic year is going to be the hardest one on record” for cash-strapped colleges, said Dan Hurley, director of state relations for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.…Read More

Wright-Patt Credit Union donates $33 million towards higher education

As higher education institutions around the country are being forced to raise their tuition rates in order to recoup their losses from lowered state education budgets, the Wright-Patt Credit Union announced a deal that will make some institutions quite happy, reports Classes2Careers. The credit union announced Monday that it will be pledging an additional $33 million in support of higher education institutions as part of a country wide effort by credit unions to provide some financial assistance for college students.  While the credit union has already donated $20 million to help with students’ finances, Wright-Patt recently decided to donate another $33 million to contribute even further…

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$2 billion that could change online education

The federal government could expand the open education model made popular by MIT.

It wasn’t the $12 billion in community college funding that officials hoped for in 2010, but a $2 billion federal grant program unveiled in January could encourage two-year schools to develop open education material that would be freely available online.

Officials from the federal departments of Education (ED) and Labor introduced the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants Program on Jan. 20, inviting community colleges—and other two-year degree-granting institutions—to apply for up to $5 million per institution, or up to $20 million to applicants who apply for funds in a consortium of schools.

ED will dole out about $500 million in 2011, and $2 billion will be distributed in the next four years overall, according to the announcement.…Read More