The economic implications of not cultivating our top low-income students

The furor over student debt in this country takes aim at a noble cause — quality education at a good price — but obscures an even nobler cause, which is getting more students to take on more debt to obtain more skills in a modern economy that doesn’t pay living wages to uneducated workers, the Atlantic/National Journal reports. Seen in this light, the single most important issue in higher education isn’t cost, it’s really something more like advertising. If we want students from disadvantaged areas to attend good colleges and obtain modern skills, we should be thinking about ways to entice them, not scare them with blaring headlines: “six figures in debt and unemployed at 22.” There’s a quieter, more lower-case crisis that is potentially even more dangerous for the economy: Smart, low-income students who never consider applying to our best colleges — even though the education would both cost less and lead to higher-paying jobs…

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Feds grant $20 million to expand college access

More than 1,700 applicants vied for ED's i3 grants.
More than 1,700 applicants vied for ED's Investing in Innovation grants.

Students in Pennsylvania and Kentucky will get an extra dose of academic advising and career counseling—aided by educational technology—after the U.S. Department of Education (ED) gave $20 million to an organization aiming to boost college access among first-generation, minority, and low-income students.

The $20 million grant to the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, will be matched with a $4 million grant from the GE Foundation that will target greater college access for low-income students in Louisville, Ky., and Erie, Pa.

The federal grant was made through the Investing in Innovation program, which doled out more than $600 million in September to colleges, universities, nonprofits, and school districts nationwide. Investing in Innovation was created in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.…Read More