Highlights from Higher Ed: Admissions scandals and free tuition

RJ Nichol
Apr 1, 2019

Low-Income students to receive free tuition

Starting in the fall of 2020, Tennessee residents who meet the requirements will be receiving free tuition at the University of Tennessee. This will apply to both new and returning students. Students who are part of households with an income under $50,000 a year will quality and will also be required to complete volunteer service hours. Five years ago, Tennessee led the way for free community college tuition for high school graduates and then expanded it to allow older adults. These commitments to lowering the cost of education have allowed 46% of the graduates from the University of Tennessee to graduate without any college debt.

Source: WJBF News

Graduate assistants at Boston U see a new benefit in paid time off

In an effort to encourage self-care among graduate assistants, Boston University has put forth paid vacation time for those on 12-month stipends. The two weeks will come in addition to the scheduled holidays and school intersession days. Those who are on shorter stipends will benefit from this as their vacation days will be prorated. The university also included funding for childcare for the days that are spent in professional conferences and discounted health care.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

A surprising number of people involved in admissions fraud, but public not surprised

The public was not shocked to hear of the recent admissions scandal, and most people aren’t entirely interested in whom to blame. But it is important to note that of the 50 individuals who allegedly participated and were charged, none of them worked in admissions. Coaches and exam proctors – those who appear to play a bigger role in admissions than the public generally realized – are the ones who were allegedly receiving bribes. Ultimately, however, the scandal revolves around admissions — and the public wants admissions departments to step up and address the underlying problems.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Pay close attention to the colleges closing

Inspired by the abrupt closure of Mount Ida College in 2018, a group in Massachusetts that had been monitoring the “potentially devastating impact” of declining college and university admissions is now taking an active role in trying to mitigate such risks in the future. The group, led by local lawmakers and the state’s commissioner of higher education, came up with eight ideas to help ensure that students, the community and the state aren’t blindsided again. One important recommendation was that students be alerted when the school is in danger of not being able to operate 18 months in advance.

Source: US News & World Report

RJ Nichol

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