Notes & Coffee: March 19 - 25

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.  

New boost for student aid and research – "A massive spending bill agreed to by congressional negotiators Wednesday raises the maximum Pell Grant by $175, includes an additional $3 billion for the National Institutes of Health as well as increased funds for the National Science Foundation, and provides $152.8 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which President Trump had sought to eliminate."

Veterans blast GOP bill as a giveaway to for-profits – "Late last summer, President Trump signed into law a long-awaited update to the GI Bill -- a rare moment of bipartisanship in the first year of the Trump administration and a major victory for veterans’ groups. Just half a year later, though, the same organizations are lining up to oppose House legislation to reauthorize the law governing federal student aid, college accountability and many other aspects of higher ed. The bill, they argue, is a giveaway to predatory programs. These groups said the legislation would make veterans more vulnerable than ever to for-profit colleges of questionable quality."

Reclaiming their campuses – "While always being hotbeds for issues of free expression, colleges in the past year have dealt with provocateurs who invite themselves to campus -- and some administrators are responding by making more restrictive their policies on outside speakers (or are at least reviewing those rules)." 

The cost of cleaning up – "Budgeting for costs tied to the weather is an imprecise science, but it’s one colleges have to undertake. There’s been no shortage of potentially costly weather events in the last year, whether you’re counting snow, rain or wildfire. And some predict extreme weather is likely to increase because of climate change."

“I Am First Gen” – "Many first-generation students don't see themselves as belonging in college. At Arizona Western College, that doubt is one of the biggest barriers to getting students in and through the two-year institution. The college, which enrolls 8,000 students, has the highest proportion of first-generation students -- 66 percent -- in the state." 

More Notes

Congress’s budget for higher ed, by the numbers

Is Russia really too risky?

“An Academic Life”

Pushing for graduation in four