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Education

130 Universities Seek Improving Student Success Rates

Details have been announced regarding a major cross-institutional collaborative project aimed to boost college student success rates. Named Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success, the project features 130 universities that will work together in 16 clusters to increase student access and completion rates and close equity gaps. Efforts are being led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, which has asked participating universities for a five-year commitment to help graduate several hundred thousand college students during that span. The project will rely on data sharing among the universities, especially within the clusters where institutions will use standard metrics on. Read More.

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NAICU President to Retire

After 25 years of leading the country’s organization of private nonprofit colleges, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (“NAICU”) president David Warren is retiring. Warren will step down next summer after helping lead the Student Aid Alliance to help with federal funds for college students, co-chairing the National Campus Voter Registration Project to encourage student participation in the electoral process, and creating the University and College Accountability Network to offer an alternative to federal accountability systems. In a statement on Warren’s retirement, American Council on Education president Ted Mitchell said Warren stood for the best that U.S. higher education. Read More.

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Education Department Proposes Title IX Changes

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has issued a proposed rule that would curtail a college institution’s obligations to investigate on-campus sexual misconduct. The rule change would add protections for college students accused of sexual misconduct, and it would allow institutions to investigate misconduct that occurred within programs they sanction. In addition, colleges would be responsible for investigating cases when a formal complaint is submitted to appropriate campus officials. While DeVos said the rule would improve the process of resolving complaints, women’s groups and other advocates argue that it would undermine victims’ rights and open the possibility to off-campus assaults or. Read More.

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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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Boston Universities Paying Less in PILOT Program

A Boston-based alliance known as the PILOT Action Group claim that the city’s tax-exempt nonprofit institutions aren’t paying their fair share. The group says Boston’s 49 biggest institutions owe the city over $77 million under the PILOT program. While the payments are considered voluntary, all large nonprofit organizations were expected to contribute at a standard level. However, in 2017, institutions like Harvard, Boston College, and Northeastern University paid way less than the amounts requested. The authors of a report on Boston’s PILOT program say the schools can afford to meet their obligations and are shortchanging city residents on services like. Read More.

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Survey Reveals Financial Troubles at Private Four-Year Colleges

Inside Higher Ed’s latest survey of business officers reflect declining confidence in financial stability at four-year private colleges. In the 2018 Survey of College and University Business Officers, 68 percent of financial officers at private four-year institutions say that they cannot sustain their tuition discount rate. The number is a nine-percent increase from 2017 and a 21-percent rise from three years ago. Other notable findings were that nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of private college financial officers say their leaders have held serious talks about merging with another school, and 26 percent of officers believe their institution should merge with another.. Read More.

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