June Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (May edition).

A Stronger Nation through Education

Lumina Foundation’s latest report, A Stronger Nation through Education, tracks U.S. progress toward Lumina’s “Big Goal” that 60% of Americans will hold a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2025. The data shows modest gains in college attainment rates with 38.3% of working-age adults (ages 24-65) holding a two-year or four-year degree in 2010. However, the growth rate is not sufficient to reach 60% attainment by 2025. The report provides detailed breakdowns of degree attainment at the national, state, and county levels as well as each of the nation’s 100 most populous metropolitan areas.

Reclaiming the American Dream

In summer 2011, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) launched a new initiative to educate an additional five million students by 2020. Reclaiming the American Dream is the culminating report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community College. The report focuses on the “Three Rs:” reform: (1) redesign students’ educational experiences; (2) reinvent institutional roles; and (3) reset the system to create partnerships and incentives for student and institutional success. The report includes seven recommendations and strategies for implementing the “Three Rs.”

Simplifying Student Aid: What It Would Mean for States

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center report, Simplifying Student Aid: What It Would Mean for States, looks at implications of the federal government’s proposal to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Five states (Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, and Vermont) are studied to determine if a simpler FAFSA would have an impact on state budgets and determining who should receive financial aid. The report concludes the simplified FAFSA would lead to minor changes in the allocation of federal and state awards and the general integrity of financial aid programs would be retained. The report also notes the simpler FAFSA would most likely lead to increased participation in postsecondary education of low-income students.

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