Tag Archives: college

Federal Student Aid Rules Rollout

On June 16, the US Department of Education issues a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) dealing with higher education. Thirteen of fourteen issues under consideration were announced, with the fourteenth being taken under advisement. These proposals are shaped by testimony and subject to public comment. Here’s a round-up of the proposed reforms:

Student Eligibility for Federal Funding

• In the face of an increasing number of high school “diploma mills” (organizations that grant diplomas that do not represent the legitimate of a legitimate secondary school course of study) Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and postsecondary vocational schools must find a way to validate diplomas that are in doubt.

• Students without a (valid) high school diploma would become eligible for federal student aid if and when they complete 6 credits of college credit.

• IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools must implement “satisfactory academic progress policies” (the policies that determine if—by the institution’s standards, students are eligible for financial aid; moreover, they must abide by them.

• The process for verification of information reported by students (and parents) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be streamlined, reducing—for some students—the amount of additional information they will have to supply.

Consumer Protection

• The USDOE’s authority to act against IHE’s and postsecondary vocational schools that deceive students in advertising, sales, and/or marketing is strengthened.

• Changes to the rules about admissions recruiters compensations intended to help discourage recruiting practices in which students were pushed towards programs were a bad fit for them, either because the financing was beyond their likely means to repay, they were not qualified for the program, or they were unlikely to succeed in it.

• States—some of which have not satisfactorily establish an approval and monitoring process for IHE’s and postsecondary vocational schools—must now do so.

Course Eligibility for Federal Funding

• A new definition of a credit hour, which has here-to-fore not been standardized, and new procedures for accrediting agencies to determine if IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools are using the assignment of credit hours appropriately.

• New regulations on the amount of a program in one IHE or postsecondary vocational schools that can be delivered by another institution, and eligibility requirements for all bodies involved.

• New rules for counting repeated coursework towards eligibility for full-time standing.

• Closing loopholes in the student withdrawal from studies process so that unused funds are properly returned to the USDOE.

• Changes in disbursement to rectify the situation in which students who need their federal funding before the start of school (e.g., to purchase books) will receive it earlier.

For Profits

• In the proposal that is being held, the USDOE is considering requiring for-profit IHEs and postsecondary vocational schools

a) to disclose the program’s graduation rate and job placement rate to prospective students;

b) to disclose information so that the USDOE can calculate student debt and income after completing programs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the for-profit schools were very pleased that the final NPRM was held for reconsideration because according to industry lobbyists, it could have a profoundly negative effect on the for-profit schools

More Information

You can find more information about the process here.

You can find a Microsoft Word version of the complete NPRM in the small “Related Resources” section to the right of the first paragraph of the press release here.



Remediation and What Schools Offer

Remediation by definition is the process in which you correct a fault or a deficiency. In education this term is commonly used in respect to learning disabilities. This is not to say that it only applies to those with big name disabilities but it even applies to the student that struggles in reading and needs extra help. No matter the severity of the need, remediation may help the student succeed.

States really hold all the control on what remedial coursework is offered to students. With the No Child Left Behind Act many states are taking a closer look at their remedial programs and what is offered in an attempt to help students resolve issues that they have in learning. In some schools these attempts are only made for those with reading problems while in other schools they offer remedial help for students struggling in a variety of subjects.
When it comes to remediation at the two year college or four year college time things are controversial. The proponents see the benefits of giving these students a second chance at being ready for college coursework while naysayers believe that this is “double dipping” as far as the funding for such programs.
Statistics show that 45% of those students that took two or more remedial courses graduated with at least an associates degree. Oddly, even with these statistics those students that received federal aid for college were limited to 4% allotted for remedial courses. As a side note, statistics show that those students that were given more challenging college prep coursework in high school were more likely to do better college regardless of their grades in high school.

Math, Math, and More Math

I have been on a math kick lately so our most recent educationbug.org articles are centered around mathematics. There is an article in the Math Lesson section which is centered on Addition. Addition is one of the very first math lessons we learn. We start out as toddlers figuring out if there is more than just one of us then we are going to need enough to share with everyone, therefore quickly learning how to add the objects and the people we will need to share with (usually just to make sure we are assured we will get our share). This article is a greater reminder of all the different ways you can use to solve a problem with addition.

The other math article we posted is in the Science Projects area, called Math Science Projects. Most people think of “science” when considering what to do for a science project, especially one’s they intend to use for a “science fair”. But you would be surprised at how many different things you can do with math science projects. If you will read the article, I think you will find some fun and exciting ideas you can use for your next project.

Next, let me start by saying I do not homeschool my children, but, I came across an article about “Homeschool Math” and considering my interest in math lately I decided to read it. Something in the article really struck me, it suggests that just because you did well in math when you were in K-12 does not mean you are ready to teach math to your children. I had to take a step back and ask myself if I thought I would be qualified. At first, I thought, Yes! Then, remembering I took an algebra course at the local college last year and was thinking to myself, “I don’t remember learning this in high school.” Then I went home to do my homework and found out that my daughter (who was a sophomore in high school) was studying the exact same thing, and she started helping ME with MY homework. I suddenly realized I would not be well enough equipped to homeschool my children, at least not into their latter years of school. And once again I had a sense of relief to know my children are being educated by people who know this stuff and love it. I feel so fortunate that my children are have the opportunity to learn and grow from these wonderful teachers. I am so thankful there are people in this world who want to become teachers, who love education, who have patience and understanding, and who are willing to teach our children. THANK YOU TEACHERS!!!!

Science Projects on Sound

Even though the science fair season is over, school is out, and you think you have all the time in the world before thinking about a science project, you should really think about all the different areas in which to do science projects. There is always someone who does a volcano project, an ant farm project, or a solar system project, but how often do you see a science project on sound? In our latest science project article we have great ideas for sound science projects. They are categorized my grade level so you can find one that is age appropriate. In this article you can find everything from how sound travels, musical instruments, to how a stethoscope works. Many of these projects can be accomplished using things you have lying around the house. Many are very simple yet a great educational opportunity.

Still attending college? Wondering about a graduate degree? We also recently posted is an article on Graduate Degrees. If you are considering pursuing your graduate degree you should take a look at this article. It has great information on the different types of graduate degrees, requirements for graduate degree, and tips on getting your graduate degree.

Spell Checking

Spell checking? Who would have ever dreamed we would have such a luxury? The students of today truly do not understand what a great tool this is in their life, but then they have never known life without it. Many of them may not even know what a typewriter looks like, let alone that a dictionary/thesaurus is a book that you used to keep next to your typewriter. I know they still make liquid paper, but I am pretty sure if you ask any teenager to run to the store and pick you up some liquid paper they would give you that “pick up what?” look. Asking a teenager to go to college today without computers and spell check would be like asking them to start a fire without a match.

Spell check is not a complete safeguard for students. You have to be careful and read through your documents and make sure you accept the words you really want. For instance, I was running a spell check earlier on a document and where I meant to type “but” I typed “bug”, both are real words and both worked in the situation so my spell check assumed I typed exactly what I had intended. Are you aware of all the things that spell check can do for you, besides check your spelling? Do you know how to add words to your dictionary? Many spell check programs can also assist you with your grammar. Check out our grammar lesson, Spell Checking, at educationbug.org to learn what your spell checker can and cannot do for you.

Number Lines

Do you remember learning about number lines in elementary school, and think when will I ever use this? Then in jr. high and high school you learned about them again, and did you think when will I ever use this? Then when you got into college did you realize maybe you should have been paying attention all those years before because now you need to know what a number line is and how it works in order to do your college math lessons? OH, wait! Did you think you would never need a number line after college?
Ok, I have never been really good at math. I feel I am pretty good with numbers, memorizing numbers, remembering numbers, picking out random order, that sort of thing. But I have always done just ok when it comes to calculus or advanced algebra. But, I was recently having a problem with my vehicle and the mechanic (another adult) was trying to explain input and output of something to do with my vehicle which was creating a problem. It was not making any sense to me what-so-ever. I asked the same question in as many ways as I could think of, and the mechanic in return explained it in as many ways as he could think of. Both of us naturally getting frustrated, when my daughter spoke up and said, “Mom, think of it as a number line…” Hmmmmm, now that made sense.
If you ever think that you will never, ever in your entire life, use something that you are taught over and over again, maybe just maybe, you should consider that perhaps you are being taught that for a reason.
Education comes in all types and forms. We try to educate our children and eventually they teach us a thing or two.

Find Scholarships

Many adults who either drop out of high school, just get their GED, or have been out of high school for a number of years think it is too late to go to college. IT’S NOT! Many adults are returning to college for a number of reasons. Some have lost their long time jobs, some to better their position in their company, and others to expand their minds and to be able to say they finally did it. Just because you are an adult don’t think that you do not qualify or are not able to get any assistance in funding your education. Criteria is a little different than most kids right out of high school but it is not impossible.
Many high school students also think that unless they have a 4.0 GPA their entire school years they are not eligible for college scholarships either. 4.0 GPA will help obtain certain scholarships but it is not the only way. There are scholarships for leadership skills, your choice of college major, extracurricular activities (cheer, sports, debate, technical etc…), your cultural or ethnic background, you or your parents income level, your SAT or ACT scores, and much much more. Don’t give up on continuing your education just because you are not a straight A student.
Check out our most recent article on finding scholarships to learn more.

Higher Education Issues

One of the higher education issues that has been focused on lately is that of adjunct teachers at many colleges across the nation. For those of you who are not familiar with adjunct teachers or professors they are typically people who have their higher education degree that are hired by the college to teach part time and fill in the gaps for full time tenure professors. These people typically have another full time job or are adjunct teachers at more than one college in order to make ends meet. They do not receive any health or retirement benefits, they also only receive about 1/4 of the salary of full time instructors. Adjuncts are often a budget relief solution for the colleges or universities. The more adjuncts they hire at 1/4 the salary and no benefits the more money they can save or pass on to other projects or salaries. This makes it not only difficult on the adjuncts because they have no job security, benefits, or ability to progress in their position but it is also difficult on the full time employees as well knowing that the more adjuncts that are highered the less amount of full time professors are needed.

School Testing

There are very few people that I am aware of that get totally excited about school testing. But school testing is a necessary thing if we are going to be able to know what kind of progress is being made.
One of the definitions given for education is, “the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process.” But how do we now what knowledge or development has taken place? That’s right, school testing! Testing may come even before you start kindergarten. Some schools require children to take an entrance exam (if you will) so they are aware of what kind of preschool education this child has had.
And from then on it is a constant line up of test after test. There is school testing in the classrooms, on local, district, national, and college levels. On a national level there are some standardized testing that lets us know how the nation is doing overall in education. Then there are tests that can help you get into college or help colleges determine eligibility, such as the SAT or ACT tests. There may be even some after college for some professions.
If school testing makes you nervous or anxious just remember it is just a way of measuring progress and as you continue to grow you will continue to progress. Relax and just do the best you can.

Online Education

It is incredible how much education the internet provides for us. Not only can we search for answers to most any question but we can also find out about what is happening around the world. The internet has also become a great gateway for education. Many high schools offer college courses that are broadcast live via the internet from universities. Many colleges and universities are offering more and more options to take online courses vs. attend traditional classrooms. Which is opening up a college education to many people with busy schedules that do not fit in regular day time classes. Businesses worldwide are able to save a lot of money by offering webinars instead of flying their employees to a conference and supplying them with transportation, hotels, and meals. Home schools nationwide are flourishing and have so many wonderful options right at their fingertips.

The opportunities for higher education online are nearly endless. If you are not currently taking advantage of these options or would like to know more read our recent article about online education.