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Colleges More Prone to Cybersecurity Breaches

With colleges and universities preparing for the new academic year, a recent report by BitSight Technology suggests some institutions are not prepared for potential cybersecurity threats. Tracking each college within the major athletic conferences over a one-year period, BitSight discovered that all conferences had a major decline in security performance. Specifically, the report noted that security defenses at colleges become weaker throughout the year due to more students and devices connected to campus networks, making malware infections a major threat. As a result, hackers are more likely to steal students’ and faculty members’ personal information. For the complete article , visit the. Read More.

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Lawmakers Turn Attention to Student Loans

In efforts to alleviate the burden of student loans, policymakers have recently taken steps to introduce new laws. As part of an executive order, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum that directs the secretary of education to allow five million student loan borrowers to limit their payments at 10 percent of their incomes. The memorandum also asks the secretary of education to provide more effective communication methods and increased loan counseling for borrowers. Separately, Senator Elizabeth Warren presented the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (“S. 2432”). The bill would lower rates and the costs of new loans, and. Read More.

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Department of Education Proposes “Adverse Credit” Definition Change

To counter the sharp increase in loan disapprovals recently, the Department of Education has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to update the rules of creditworthiness for PLUS loans to graduate students and parents. Published earlier this month in the Federal Register, the notice includes a revision of the “adverse credit” definition for PLUS loans, and proposes that an applicant meets the adverse credit history requirement “if the applicant has one or more debts with a total combined outstanding balance greater than $2,085 that are 90 or more days delinquent as of the date of the credit report, or that. Read More.

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The Economist Examines Use of Grading Curves

While reviewing Ivy League schools’ academic trends over a 45-year period, an article by The Economist examined the effect of using a grading curve. Per the reported data, each Ivy League school had experienced significant increases in their median grade. Conversely, the article explored Wellesley College’s anti-inflation initiative of not using a curve. Presented in 2004, the policy applied to Wellesley’s introductory and intermediate courses, and mandated that the average grade must be capped at a B-plus. As a result, students in departments that previously graded more generously were less likely to receive an A. For the full story , visit The. Read More.

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Tax Debt Growing Among Tax-Exempt Groups

Based on an audit by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, debt among 64,000 tax-exempt groups was estimated at $875 million for 2012. While the organizations do not pay income taxes, many are in the hole over payroll tax liabilities. Additionally, despite most groups reporting a small amount that they owe, 25 groups with the biggest tax liabilities received $148 million over a three-year period from the government. For the full story on tax-exempt groups’ debt, visit The Hill’s website. Also check out our Education and Nonprofit pages to learn more about the Firm’s industry services.

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College Fundraisers Show Optimism for 2014

Surveyed by Academic Impressions in June, advancement officials at 335 North American colleges were asked about their fundraising efforts during the 2013 calendar year. Of those surveyed, only 29 percent said they did not meet their fundraising goals. Despite the majority of advancing officials in the survey meeting their goals, Academic Impressions discovered that fundraising continues to be a challenge among poorer colleges and “smaller shops”. Overall, officials remain optimistic about future fundraising efforts, as 60 percent surveyed hopes to raise 10 percent more this year than in 2013. For the full story , visit the Inside Higher Ed website. Feel free. Read More.

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