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To Boost the Economy, Help Students First

New York Times – Presidential Opinion
December 21, 2016

Sheila C. Bair, president, Washington College (MD), writes: Donald J. Trump has made bold and provocative campaign promises on taxes, trade, immigration and infrastructure. These pledges are all in service of bolstering our economic future. While we hope these initiatives will help our economic prospects, there is one important measure missing from the debate. And it could have an even more immediate and direct impact on economic growth: student debt relief. Student debt relief is smart economics and smart politics for the new administration.

More Older Americans Caught in Student Debt Crisis

St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU)
December 21, 2016

An increasing number of older Americans are having problems with student loan debt — so much so that their Social Security checks are being reduced because the federal government is withholding loan repayments. And those reductions result in Social Security recipients falling below the poverty line, according to findings of a Government Accountability Office report sought by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

Presidents Sign Climate Change Letter to Trump

Inside Higher Ed
December 21, 2016

The leaders of nearly 200 colleges and universities have signed an open letter calling on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress to support climate research, investment in a low-carbon economy and the Paris Agreement on climate change.The letter was developed by colleges, universities and the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature.

Is Distance Ed Rule DOA?

Inside Higher Ed
December 21, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education, with a month to go until the transition of power, has finalized a rule that clarifies how colleges become authorized to offer online programs to students in other states -- an effort in the works since the first years of the Obama administration. But the rule is by all indications dead on arrival. 

A Generational Schism Over Gay Rights Appears at Evangelical Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 21, 2016

Evangelical Christians, who proved a powerful voting bloc for Donald Trump, are often viewed as a monolithic group. But a generational rift is appearing on Christian college campuses and among student groups, as students are diverging from professors and administrators on one prominent issue: gay rights.

What’s In and What’s Out for Colleges as Trump Takes Office

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 21, 2016

If you’re a college leader who feels micromanaged by federal regulations, a university trustee who thinks that the U.S. Department of Education has been overly intrusive in overseeing colleges’ handling of sexual-assault and discrimination cases, or a would-be education provider that is not a traditionally accredited college, you may well like some of the approaches of the coming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.  At least that’s how some of the outlines of the new political landscape for higher education appear to be taking shape, based on recent Chronicle interviews with more than two dozen college leaders, policy advocates, and current state and federal government officials.

To Save Themselves, Small Colleges Offer Lifeline to Their Hometowns

Wall Street Journal
December 21, 2016

Phillip and Stephanie Mastin have lived all of their 40-plus years in this small manufacturing town set amid farmers’ fields. Neither, though, had ever attended a lecture or a basketball game at the private college near their home. But last spring, the couple sat inside one of Albion College’s red brick buildings as their 18-year-old son collected a $45,000-a-year scholarship from the school. The free ride, one of 13 given to local students in the past two years, is part of a change playing out at small, liberal arts colleges in beaten-down towns across the country. As they struggle with falling enrollments and difficult finances, they are realizing how their own futures are intertwined with the broader community.

Fla. Police to Train Private College Staff on Active Shooter Response

CampusSafety.com
December 20, 2016

Staff members at Southeastern University, a private college in central Florida, will receive active shooter training from the Polk County Sheriff’s Offices in an attempt to improve campus security.  The program includes 132 hours of total training, including 100 hours of firearms training, background checks, drug tests and psychological evaluations.

Boston College Students Face Discipline Over Protests

Boston Globe
December 20, 2016

Seven Boston College students face disciplinary action, including possible expulsion, for organizing two peaceful protests following the election of Donald Trump, the students said Monday. A college spokesman said the students are not facing discipline for participating in a protest, but for failure to comply with “a well-established policy regarding campus demonstrations.’’

Alaska Pacific University Plans to Become a Tribal College

Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK)
December 20, 2016

Alaska Pacific University announced on Monday that it had entered into a partnership with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and would move forward with plans to transition from a small, private, liberal arts college in Anchorage to a tribal college. Officials said in an interview Monday that they had no specific timeline for how long a transition would take, and no details on what specific changes to degree programs or tuition rates students may see in years to come. 

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