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graduation cap, computer and globeHigh School Students Learn About Higher Education

WWNY TV 7

Area high schools are trying to get their students ready for the next step in their lives.

More than 400 students from 12 high schools went to Jefferson Community College Monday for Higher Education Day.

Students met with representatives from more than 80 colleges and universities, along with military groups like the Army National Guard.

“I’m looking for colleges who have good programs, probably local. If there’s any study abroad opportunities, how large the classes are,” said Jaxon Ditch, a Sackets Harbor junior interested in criminal justice.

“It’s also a great time for the kids to start searching and figuring out where they want to visit because that’s really important to go visit and talk to the people from the school,” said Amy O’Donnell, JCC assistant admissions director.

JCC’s Higher Education Day also included a presentation to teach students about financial aid options.

An evening session will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To read more visit WWNY TV 7

Education Matters: College Application Week

Susanne Brunner | Arkansas Matters | Twitter

For many high school students set to graduate next year, College Application Week provides a head start in planning for college and their future

Parkview High School seniors Alysea Freeman and Angelique Camper say College Application Week has helped them understand the application process and how to get financial aid or loans.

“It’s a privilege to be able to sit down and do college applications in a classroom, rather than being on my own and doing it at home,” Freeman says.

On the application process, Camper adds, “I wouldn’t know how to do it, I would get scared and be like ‘Oh is this right?’. So I’m glad they’re helping us.”

Representatives of UAPB, UALR, Philander Smith and Pulaski Tech talked to students about college life, what degrees they offer and what to expect at a higher education institution.

Sonja Wright-McMurry with the department of career education says college application week shows kids that college is attainable.

To read more visit Arkansas Matters

classroom full of studentsUS education needs reform

Emma Whitestone | The Ithacan | Twitter

The U.S. education system encompasses over 50 million children. The federal government has continued to push new programs to improve the system that is quickly overturned as a failure. To ensure American children are getting an adequate education, Congress needs to bring people invested in education together in order to find a program that will work in the long term.

There is an ongoing debate about whether the national government should even be intervening in education policy at all. Education is traditionally overseen by local and state governments. However, this leads to inequality because richer municipalities can afford to pay more for their schools, while poor communities are left with underfunded schools. To make sure that all American children are getting an adequate education, regardless of class, some kind of federal regulations are necessary.

The past few national education policies have been marked by failure. No Child Left Behind, a policy passed in 2001, attempted to improve education by setting national standards. This was criticized for punishing schools that did not meet the standards instead of helping them.  Common Core Standards, which attempted to create a nationwide set of standards for education, is criticized for the rigorous testing that goes along with it; a 2014 Gallup poll showed 72 percent of teachers were against Common Core computer tests.  

To read more visit The Ithacan

Standardized tests prepare students for failure

Crystal Rose | The Cougar | Twitter

Standardized tests should not be the life or death of a student.

Standardized tests force students’ to cram so they can pass. The focus to keep scores high on tests can hurt students in the long run as they move into higher education.

“Schools that have dropped SAT/ACT requirements say they do it because they don’t think a high-stakes test score is very revealing about a student’s abilities and find that high school grades are a more accurate reflect,” said Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss.

Finally, some colleges agree with students. Maybe now students can learn how to learn and not what to know for tests.

The same applied to professors who only provide two-to-three grades in the whole course. They will have little time to verify if the material is understood when students bend over backward all semester not knowing if they will pass.

To read more visit The Cougar

grants, scholarships, loansWhy Students Are Losing Out on Billions in College Financial Aid

Kim Cook | MONEY Magazine | Twitter

A new study looks at the reasons so many eligible students never even apply.

For current or future college students, receiving financial support from the federal government is practically a sure thing. Nearly all students qualify for federal aid, and 85% of four-year college students receive some type of aid.

Yet 20% of all undergraduate students failed to fill out the financial aid application in 2011-12, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and an unknown but undoubtedly large share of low-income students never enroll in college at all because they believe it is unaffordable.

What explains the disconnect between nearly universal aid eligibility and less-than-universal uptake? Federal data suggest a widespread misconception: Among undergrads who didn’t seek aid, 44% said they thought they were ineligible for such support, making eligibility concerns the most common reason these students left aid on the table.

At the National College Access Network, we know there’s a strong tie between applying for federal financial aid, enrolling in college, and ultimately obtaining a degree. It’s especially important for low-income students, who complete college at far lower rates than their wealthier peers. So, as part of our effort to simplify and promote completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid —including the launch of a new national FAFSA completion campaign called Form Your Future—we dug into this apparent misunderstanding. Why don’t students think they are eligible?

To read more visit MONEY Magazine

How to get the most college financial aid using FAFSA

John Wasik | CBS Money Watch | Twitter

As far as government forms go, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the Rosetta Stone for college financial aid. But it’s also a bit of a sphinx.

The FAFSA will give your family an idea of how much financial aid you’ll qualify for, but it doesn’t tell you everything. You can start filing it as of Oct. 1. The sooner you send it in, the better.

Despite its power as a tool in the financial aid process, a surprising number of families don’t file the FAFSA. As a result, some $3 billion in state and institutional grants and $9.5 million in federal Pell Grants are left on the table every year.

The key to understanding the FAFSA, though, is knowing what it can and can’t do. It doesn’t directly grant you financial aid. It only gives you an idea of what you may qualify for based on information you provide on the form.

Unlike the sphinx, the “expected family contribution (EFC)” — the less-than-magic number generated by the FAFSA based on family income and assets — isn’t set in stone.

You still may be able to qualify for more aid, but you’ll have to deal with individual colleges to garner it.

As a cumbersome and often-misunderstood step in the college financial aid process, the FAFSA experience produces a lot of frustration and false expectations. I know because our family has negotiated its obstacle course over the past two years.

To read more visit CBS Money Watch

 

InformED Report is brought to you in cooperation with American ED TV and MindRocket Media Group

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