Notes & Coffee: October 2 - 8

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.

Scholars renew calls for U.S. to fund research on gun violence – This week's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas is prompting scholars -- particularly in social science groups -- to once again to call for shifts in federal policy to resume support for research on gun violence. Felice Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association, released a statement Monday that said, "In this period of human devastation and public pain, it is incumbent upon us to confront our collective responsibilities as researchers, educators and policy makers to engage in a dialogue about the pervasive and lethal effects of guns in the hands of those seeking to render violence."

DeVos keeps higher ed – and reporters – at arm’s length – The education secretary’s aversion to the national news media and her communication style have created a knowledge gap for college leaders seeking to understand her philosophy on higher ed.

After hurricanes, schools accommodate Puerto Rican students – Students from Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands who attend the State University of New York will pay in-state tuition this school year, the SUNY board of trustees said Friday. In making the move, SUNY joins several school districts, colleges and universities preparing for an influx of students forced from their homes by recent hurricanes, which have shattered power grids and left residents scrambling for basic staples.

Post-recession borrowers struggle to repay loans – New federal data show that college students are taking out more student loan debt and also taking longer to pay it off. The report from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, released today, examines patterns of student loan repayment for two separate groups of borrowers -- those who started college in the 1995-96 academic year and those who started eight years later, in 2003-04. Twelve years after beginning their postsecondary educations, the second group had paid off a smaller proportion of their student loans and had defaulted at a higher rate on at least one loan.

A few telling freshman trends – How are new students feeling? What matters to them? Are they where they want to be? The Higher Education Research Institute at U.C.L.A., which has been surveying first-year students across the country for more than half a century, has some answers.

More Notes

Ongoing barriers to college aid

Learning while homeless

Beyond “bad apples”

More single moms are also college students

Can technology-augmented academic advising improve college graduation rates?