Notes & Coffee: November 13 - 19

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee. 

House Passes GOP Tax Plan – House Republicans on Thursday pushed through tax reform legislation widely opposed by higher education leaders who say many of its provisions will make a college degree less attainable and hurt the financial strength of institutions. The bill passed by a 227 to 205 vote with 13 Republicans voting against the plan; it did not receive support from any Democrats

The student loan default crisis for borrowers with children – Attending college as a parent can be a daunting affair: It’s hard to find enough hours in the day for work, family, and school. Many institutions do not offer any child care and classes may only be available at inconvenient times. For many student-parents these stresses are too much to handle; only one-third of undergraduate parents finish a credential within six years of enrolling. Now, new data show another challenge for student-parents: repaying their federal loans. 

Can these new colleges help solve higher education’s equity problem? – Young people from families in the top income quartile are eight times more likely than those from the bottom quartile to earn a bachelor's degree by the age of 24. And the problem is getting worse, not better. In its current form, our higher education system amplifies national inequities—when it could be doing the opposite. If the operating model for postsecondary stays the same, the problems of the past will continue to determine the outcomes of the future.

In support of a clear, shared definition of college affordability – College affordability—two simple words. Two critically important, yet distressingly hollow words. Policymakers, college administrators, and student advocates all use this term, but no one seems to precisely define what it means or what achieving it would look like. Without a clear definition it’s hard to measure progress toward this goal.

California has millions of good-paying jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree – Workers who want to earn at least $35,000 a year increasingly need to have some training beyond high school but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. That’s the conclusion of a Georgetown University study on the nation’s workforce that goes beyond the narrative that all students need to aim for a four-year college degree.

More Notes

Colleges battle FAFSA obstacles

Paying for the job search

Report: The bottom line on college counseling

Lack of nurse educators is likely contributing to the nurse workforce shortage

Brief: Nontraditional students gaining steam in higher ed discussions