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Education Department Sanctions Howard University

Fallout continues from Howard University’s financial aid scandal earlier this year. The Department of Education has placed the historically black university on heightened cash monitoring 2 status, meaning that Howard can get federal funding only after it distributes financial aid to students. The restrictions could create additional financial instability at Howard, which has faced budget and financial issues in recent years. An internal investigation revealed fraud and misappropriation of funds in its financial aid office and led to the termination of six employees. More on Howard’s financial aid restrictions is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Government Funding for Higher Education Gains Support

A study from Columbia University’s Teachers College has discovered that most Americans support government funding for higher education and view the return on investments of colleges and universities as a positive. Based on the responses to “Americans’ Views of Higher Education as a Public and Private Good,” three-fourths of those surveyed consider public funding of higher education as either an excellent (44 percent) or good (32 percent) investment. In addition, approximately half of respondents support higher government spending on institutions (52 percent on community colleges; 50 percent on four-year schools). More on this survey is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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Vermont Law School Professors to Lose Tenure

Facing financial problems for the past decade, Vermont Law School plans to move several tenured professors to untenured positions. The decision, which received unanimous support from the school’s Board of Trustees, is part of a restructuring process that could potentially impact over a dozen of the 20 tenured professors. Some professors have already negotiated their employment terms, which are likely contracts similar to many of the school’s full-time, non-tenured professors. Learn more about Vermont Law School’s restructuring plan on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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First-Generation College Students More Engaged than Multi-Generational Students

New data from Campus Labs reveals that first-generation college students are more committed to education than multi-generational students. During its comparison of cognitive skills among both sets of students, first-generation students appear more engaged and prepared to handle college academics. Campus Labs also measured non-cognitive factors and discovered that first-generation students outscored their counterparts on educational commitment, self-efficacy, and academic and campus engagement. More on Campus Labs’ research is available on the Inside Higher Ed website.

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NAICU Partially Supports Federal Student-Level Database

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (“NAICU”) is considering changing its stance regarding the federal government’s efforts to collect data on college student outcomes. NAICU president David Warren said the private college group is open to supporting the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, a bill that would make colleges increase student data disclosures to the government. Warren noted, however, that the NAICU still opposes a student-level database that some public college advocates prefer. Despite the NAICU’s partial support, proponents of a student-level data system believe Warren’s remarks are a positive step toward creating more extensive. Read More.

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EQUIP Program Loses Support

Almost half the participants of a program aimed to provide nontraditional providers access to federal financial aid have pulled their support. Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (“EQUIP”) sought to help nontraditional providers achieve high-quality standards and positive student outcomes, but the program is taking longer than expected to launch. As a result, three of initial eight pilot programs are no longer part of EQUIP. It is uncertain why EQUIP is taking so long to develop, but one study suggested that many participants were unsure about how the program’s success would be measured. More on the EQUIP program is available on InsideHigherEd.com.

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