Highlights from Higher Ed: Statues and Graduate School Strain

Building community and supporting nontraditional students

Non-traditional students can help bridge the gap in low enrollment years. Davenport University (Michigan) is working to help their local community and increase enrollment by offering $8,000 in funding towards a degree or professional development courses for General Motors employees who are being laid off. The scholarship is open to both hourly and salaried employees who are looking to get a degree in business, health professions or technology. Funding can also be used for a 20% discount for professional development courses.

Source: Education Dive

Struggle over statue still dominates UNC-Chapel Hill

Last week, University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors failed to approve the proposed plan for the Silent Sam statue that protestors pulled down in August. The plan suggested that the monument would be housed in a new history museum on campus that would cost over $5 million and included some serious safety concerns. The university now has until March 15th to come up with a new plan. Several students and faculty members were united against the proposed plan, with some faculty allegedly withholding grades until the plan was withdrawn.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Working together to increase enrollment

Two years ago, the American Talent Initiative was formed, with vows to enroll and graduate 50,000 low and moderate-income students by 2025. With two years under their belt, they are almost 20% there, with almost 7,300 students enrolled. Over 100 colleges and universities have joined the initiative and over half of them have increased the enrollment of students who are receiving Pell grants.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Graduate school a strain?

For potential graduate students, the research surrounding quality of life and professional opportunities may be grim. Reports from 2014 highlight the stressor of finding a job, as 40% of doctoral students had not secured a job by graduation. Another concern for those looking at graduate school is the student debt. About 13% of Ph.D. recipients graduate with at least $70,000 in debt. And of course, the financial strain can be made worse when there are strains placed on personal lives and health. The financial and professional strain placed on graduate students may be a deterrent for Gen Z, bringing application and admission rates down over the next few years.

Source: The Atlantic