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College Alumni Boost Charitable Giving in 2017

According to the Council for Aid to Education’s recent Voluntary Support of Education survey, college alumni were happy to give back to their alma maters in 2017. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, colleges and universities amassed $43.6 billion in charitable donations. The total is a 6.3 percent jump from 2016 and marks the highest fundraising total in the survey’s history. While foundations were the top source of voluntary support in 2017, the survey says that the 14.5 percent rise in alumni giving is responsible for most of last year’s growth. More on this survey is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Endowments Highest in Three Years

According to their joint annual study, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (“NACUBO”) and Commonfund are reporting that college endowments are at a three-year high. For the fiscal year ending June 2017, the annual net endowment returns at colleges and universities averaged 12.2 percent. The percentage is a significant jump from the fiscal year 2016 average of -1.9 percent, and it marks the highest average achieved since the fiscal year 2014 (15.5 percent). Despite the turnaround, recent data reveals that the 10-year average annual return decreased from 5 percent in 2016 to 4.6 percent in 2017. More. Read More.

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NCAA Pledges to Reform Men’s Basketball

National Collegiate Athletic Association president Mark Emmert promises to act fast on recent allegations concerning men’s basketball. Ahead of the start of next season, Emmert wants to implement recommendations offered by the NCAA’s independent commission on college basketball. The NCAA created the committee following an unearthed scheme that lured basketball recruits with cash to attend certain schools. Emmert said the NCAA’s Board of Governors had reserved $10 million to carry out the commission’s recommendations, which the NCAA expects to receive in April. Additionally, starting next fiscal year, the NCAA will dedicate $2.5 million annually to reform the sport. Check out Inside Higher Ed for more on the NCAA’s attempts to reform men’s basketball.

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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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Federal Student Aid Changes Proposed

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has released a proposal to significantly change how the U.S. government distributes student aid. Announced last week as the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform Act, the plan involves deregulating and restricting oversight of portions of federal aid programs. Proposed changes include simplifying student aid options, eliminating the public service loan forgiveness program, and changing the federal work-study program by distributing money to colleges based on student need. Learn more about the proposed changes to federal student aid is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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College Scorecard Receives an Update

The Department of Education recently updated information on the College Scorecard, a consumer tool aimed at helping students research colleges and universities. The update includes a new feature that allows data from up to 10 colleges and universities to be compared. More on the College Scorecard update is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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