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Highlights from Higher Ed: MBA Rankings and the Working Student

Making the FAFSA a requirement

A few states have contemplated making the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, mandatory. Texas will become the second state to require high school seniors to complete and submit the Federal Application for the 2020-21 academic year. Texas hopes to mirror Louisiana’s success, which saw that state’s FAFSA completion rate by high school students rise by more than 25 percent. According to NCAN, Louisiana ranks number one among all states this financial aid cycle with an application completion rate of 78.7%, compared to Texas ranking 31st with an application completion rate of 55.5%.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Universities’ “insatiable appetites” for WiFi

High quality wireless internet access is expected by students who step on to campus with their smartphones, laptops and tablets. With three-fourths of colleges offering WiFi access on 81% or more of their campus, that is a 17% increase from just three years ago. Universities are working to manage students’ and faculties’ “insatiable appetites” for wireless bandwidth. In an effort to keep up with growing demand for the latest in technology, a growing number of universities are outsourcing their wireless network infrastructure needs as well as increasing their IT budgets.

Source: Education dive

The paradox of a working student

Working while enrolled in a university can be risky. A Georgetown study found students who worked while enrolled in university had lower grades and were more likely to drop out. This risk increased for low income students. The standard advice given to many college students is to work no more than 15 hours a week in order to balance the responsibilities that come with the territory of being a student. But a new study from a Rutgers research center found that students who work in college earn higher salaries after they graduate. Research on past students has often relied on students’ academic records as a measure of success, but one researcher decided to look into student employment records reporting wage and employment information during the students’ time at university and after college. They found that, “the more that students worked in college, the more they subsequently earned in the labor force.”

Source: The Hechinger Report

How much do MBA rankings really matter?

How much should students take into account a university’s business school ranking? Choosing where to earn a master’s degree is an important decision with many factors to consider. Often, reputation and image are the number one determinants students use to choose where they will commit. It is important to recognize that every ranking system — including those published by BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and the Financial Times — is imperfect and each may rank various attributes differently. In addition, some have changed their methodologies throughout the years, making year-by-year comparisons difficult. 

Source: Poets & Quants