State Investment in Higher Ed: Free College and Promise Programs in 2019
State budgets represent the foundation of how our government invests in creating an informed and educated citizenry and workforce. Tuition prices in many states are often set by the state legislature and decisions about institutional funding allocations can work either to exacerbate or alleviate state-level educational opportunity gaps. As our national economy continues to recover, albeit slowly, from the 2008 recession, state budgets are shifting toward a greater investment in education. According to recent analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts, at least 15 states now cover college tuition for at least some students. The “free college” conversation continues, with 81 pieces of legislation across 29 states currently included on the Education Commission of the States’ State Policy Watchlist. The policies vary and almost none are truly open to all students for all institutions, but states are actively taking up the charge to address college costs and, in some cases, increase access for low-income and historically underrepresented groups. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds, reviews some key terms and considerations of the policies for student affairs professionals as well as provides a brief overview of equity considerations in free college proposals. Student affairs professionals in states considering free college programs can reach out to their legislators to advocate for proposals that will better serve all students by offering concrete suggestions for improving the policies or even by providing examples of how the proposals would impact students they work with.
March 18th NASPA Policy Update
Have you heard about the reintroduction and committee vote on the reauthorization to the Violence Against Women Act, or the introduction of H.R. 6, the 2019 version of the Dream Act? In this week's update you'll find NASPA sign-on letters, state and federal legislative updates, regulatory advancements, and links to sign-on letter templates and resources so you can get involved today!
Catching Up on HEA: An Update for #SAPros & #SAadvocates
It’s been a busy week on the Hill with several hearing related to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), initial due for reauthorization in 2013, in both the House and the Senate. Policymakers from both parties generally agree with NASPA’s overarching priorities related to HEA, though they differ in where they place the emphasis for why and how best to accomplish them. These differences become apparent in the details, which matter in any legislation, but with legislation as broad and far-reaching as HEA, there are a lot of details. Both Senator Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, have recently addressed the issues they expect to include in comprehensive HEA reauthorization bills to be introduced in spring 2019.
#NASPActs19 Policy Pop-ups at #NASPA19
Originally created during the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, NASPActs today is designed to provide ongoing outlets for social action and civic engagement opportunities, at the NASPA Annual Conference and year-round. At the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference, the #NASPActs19 Committee of the Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Division is sponsoring a series of five policy pop-up sessions that coincide with the 2019 National Student Affairs Day of Action (NSADA). Each session is scheduled for 20 minutes and designed to provide #NASPA19 attendees with a brief introduction to one of five different equity and inclusion areas along with suggestions for direct action they can take on the issue immediately. For our participants in NSADA who are unable to join us in person in Los Angeles, we are providing the information and resources that will be distributed during the Policy Pop-up sessions here.
Advising Reform: A Crucial Step to Improving Graduation Rates
With the cost of college soaring, students who deviate from their recommended course path may end up spending thousands of extra dollars—not to mention extra time—completing their graduation requirements. Or, they may drop out of school altogether. In today's guest post from Molly Jacobson, project leader at Boston Consulting Group, learn how four postsecondary institutions - three universities and one community college - reformed advising on their campus to improve student success.