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Report Recommends Improving Educational Quality at Colleges

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has issued a study calling for improved educational quality to help college students excel in the 21st century. In its report, “The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America,” the academy proposes a three-part strategy that ensures first-rate learning experiences, increased completion rates and reduced inequities among higher institutions, and controlled college expenses. While the academy believes technology will help boost educational quality, it anticipates some of its goals could take decades to accomplish. More on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences report is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Seven Alabama Community Colleges to Merge

Last month, the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees (“the Board”) approved a plan to consolidate seven community colleges into two regional systems. Consolidation of the schools is intended to improve the efficiency of each college and counter the impact of declining enrollments. While the decision at the Board’s meeting was made without public opposition or discussion, local leaders and community members of the affected institutions have begun voicing their concerns. More on Alabama community college mergers can be found on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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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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Sallie Mae Releases Annual College Report

Last week, Sallie Mae issued the results from its “2013 How America Pays for College” report. Surveying 800 parents and 800 undergraduate students, the lender reviewed how U.S. families managed the growing cost of higher education. Based on the findings, it was determined that 22 percent of the cost of college was borrowed by U.S. families last year. The percentage marks a five percent drop from the past two years, and is being contributed to families using savings, income, tax credits, and/or accelerating studies as reasons behind the trend. For the complete story , visit the Financial Advisor site. Also learn about. Read More.

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SASB Releases Exposure Drafts for Services Sector

Aligned with its efforts to create sustainability accounting standards for ten sectors by the end of 2015, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) has issued exposure drafts of proposed standards for the services sector. Addressing material sustainability topics such as environmental, social, and governance issues, the services sector exposure drafts impact companies in industries like education, media, casinos, hospitality and professional services. SASB hopes to finalize the services sector standards and release provisional standards in December. Comments on the exposure drafts are due October 14th. To view the exposure drafts or assistance on submitting comments, click here .

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