Saturday, January 21, 2017

NU asked to cut budget 2.3 percent, other colleges 4 percent - CHRIS DUNKER, Lincoln Journal Star

With most state agencies prepared to absorb a 4 percent budget cut for the remainder of the fiscal year, Gov. Pete Ricketts will ask the University of Nebraska to cut 2.3 percent of its annual budget by June. The governor’s proposal, announced Thursday, calls for $13.3 million to be cut from the university’s $583 million state-aided budget. NU will roll out plans to make additional cuts at the Board of Regents meeting on Jan. 27, Bounds said. In the meantime, university leaders are meeting with groups of faculty, staff and students.The cuts come as the state wrestles with a tax shortfall, Ricketts said in a briefing with reporters Wednesday afternoon.

Pitt planning for budget cuts for 2017-18 fiscal year - Amanda Reed, Pitt News

Even with a $3.6 billion endowment, possible budget changes from Harrisburg could mean Pitt will have to find other funding sources in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The University uses funds from the state for teaching instruction, financial aid, student services like the wellness center and the Student Organization Resource Center, maintenance and facilities costs and administrative support. Last year, Pitt received $146.77 million from the state. This year, Pitt requested $154.11 million from the state government, which is $7.34 million more than what it received last year. But the current state of Pennsylvania’s finances — with a projected $603.8 million deficit approaching — means that there could be budget cuts. “A state cut is something we’re actually going to have to contemplate,” a recent University Times report quoted Chancellor Gallagher as saying to the University’s Senate Council Dec. 14.

The Unravelling of College Football Starts With All These Empty Stadiums -Eben Novy-Williams, Bloomberg

Attendance at the top division of college football dropped for the seventh straight year, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The modest average decline—roughly a percentage point per year—includes consistently sold-out powerhouses that cover some steep drop-offs. In the Big 12 Conference, the average crowd at the University of Kansas has dropped by 50 percent since 2009. Western Michigan University never came close to filling its 30,200-seat stadium in 2016, in spite of the most successful season in Broncos history. Collegiate sports, particularly football, generate revenue in three main ways—media contracts, ticket sales and donations—and falling attendance is a double-whammy to the business model: unsold tickets hurt the bottom line today and deprive schools of alumni donations in the future. Research suggests that when students don’t go to games, they’re less likely to give money after they graduate.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Snapshot of older consumers and student loan debt - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The number of consumers age 60 and older with student loan debt has quadrupled over the last decade in the United States, and the average amount they owe has also dramatically increased. In 2015, older consumers owed an estimated $66.7 billion in student loans. Although most student loan borrowers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, consumers age 60 and older are the fastest growing age-segment of the student loan market. This trend is not only the result of borrowers carrying student debt later into life, but also the growing number of parents and grandparents financing their children’s and grandchildren’s college education.2 Today, the majority of older student loan borrowers have loans that were used to finance their children’s education. They may have taken out these loans directly or cosigned on a loan with the student as the primary borrower.

How University Costs Keep Rising Despite Tuition Freezes - Jon Marcus, the Atlantic

At a time when public anger is laser-focused on tuition charges that are rising three times faster than inflation, something less well understood has actually been largely responsible for pushing up the cost of college: fees. Think tuition is high? Now add fees for student activities, fees for athletics, fees for building maintenance, fees for libraries—even fees for graduation, the bills for which often arrive just as students and their families thought they were finally done paying for their higher education. All are frustratingly piled on top of a long list of expenses beyond tuition that many people never plan for or expect, or that can’t be covered by financial aid—sometimes forcing them to take out more and more loans, or quit college altogether.

Montana’s Budget Battle - Tristan Scott, Flathead Beacon

Sen. Mark Blasdel, R-Somers, who is serving as majority whip this session, said protecting the Montana Highway Patrol and Flathead Valley Community College from proposed cuts would be at the top of his list of priorities. He also said agreeing on a narrower definition of infrastructure would be critical in the first weeks of the Legislature, and suggested that projects should be limited to water, sewer, bridges, and roads. The public works bill required at least $150 million in cash, bonding and borrowing authority to finance a slate of local public-works projects and construction of new state buildings on college campuses and elsewhere.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Iowa Higher education could see budget cuts still this year - Vanessa Miller, the Gazette

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, said he’s concerned for the regents and the public universities they oversee after hearing Gov. Terry Branstad recently announce plans to balance the budget without harming property tax credits, Medicaid and K-12 education. “He did not mention that higher education would be held harmless,” Quirmbach said. Quirmbach said Branstad has taken three-quarters of the budget “off the table.” “Higher education is a lot of what’s left,” he said. “You are going to hit higher education pretty hard.” Quirmbach said he’d support tapping state reserves to keep Iowa’s higher education institutions from taking a hit.

Local colleges continue to struggle with uncertain state funding - Felix Sarver, Herald-News

As Illinois enters 2017 without a budget in place, higher education institutions such as Joliet Junior College continue to struggle with the uncertainty of state funding. JJC spokeswoman Kelly Rohder said the impact of the state budget impasse on the community college has been ongoing since the crisis started in 2015. One area where students are struggling is with Monetary Award Program grants. Students will enter a second semester without them. JJC advanced more than $1 million in MAP grants last school year, but was unable to do so this year. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which administers MAP grants, stated in a Dec. 14 news release that funding for MAP and ISAC grants and scholarship programs for the current academic year have not been appropriated because of the delay of the state’s budget.

RVC says students will feel impact of no state budget - Kristin Crowley, WREX

As the interim state budget ends, a stateline college is left with a lot of questions. Rock Valley College says there's no word yet on whether it will get state dollars for next year. RVC says right now it's dealing with a $1.6 million budget deficit. While students may not feel that impact right now, college president Douglas Jensen says they will. "It's the work that's going on behind the scenes trying to maintain the level of services so our students aren't impacted. But everybody will eventually start feeling the impact of the state budget," said Jensen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cuomo seeks free SUNY tuition for those making under $125,000 - Tom Precious, Buffalo News

More than 200,000 New York State college students would get free tuition if they attend a public university or community college in the state and have a family or individual annual income below $125,000, according to a budget proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The proposal, which would need legislative approval, would be phased in over three years. The plan comes from a governor who in his first year successfully pushed an effort for what was called a “rational” SUNY tuition policy. That program led to five straight years of $300 annual tuition hikes, or a total of 30 percent over the period. The governor announced the proposal Tuesday at a community college in Queens alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, who promoted a free college tuition program during his unsuccessful Democratic presidential primary bid this year.

Nationwide, state budget cuts disproportionately hit low-income, minority college students - JON MARCUS, THE HECHINGER REPORT

States have cut spending on higher education since the last recession by a collective $8.7 billion a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP. That will come as no surprise to students and families who have seen their tuition at four-year colleges and universities rise as a result by an average of 33 percent during that time. But the cuts have been uneven. A closer look shows they’re taking a greater toll on colleges and universities such as Chicago State that serve low-income and nonwhite students while flagships that enroll larger proportions of whites from higher-income families have been less affected. Among the reasons is that flagship schools have other sources of income to fall back on, including endowments, research funding, deep-pocketed donors, and out-of-state and international students who can afford to pay a premium tuition price. Community colleges and other, regional public universities don’t have those advantages.

How technology will shape new trends in college learning - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive profiles several areas of tech engagement that will help to attract and retain students in a climate where enrollment may shrink due to high costs and waning confidence in higher education. Officials say education should become more personalized through distance learning and tutoring systems, virtual learning environments which can help with professional development, and gamification to induce increased participation from diverse student populations. Microlearning, or reducing traditional lectures into smaller video tutorials, may also prove to be a change agent in keeping students' attention and improving learning outcomes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ohio universities seek more state money, tuition hikes - Associated Press

Ohio’s higher education leaders want the state to give its public universities more money in the next budget. The Inter-University Council of Ohio seeks a 4.5 percent increase in the basic state subsidy for each of the next two years, The Blade newspaper reported recently. The group, which represents the state’s public universities, has also asked for a 10 percent total bump in funding for needy Ohio students and wants universities to have the option to raise tuition this school year.

Chicago State University facing financial distress - Associated Press

Documents show the school could burn through its $26 million cash reserves by May and end the academic year with a $3.5 million deficit. University officials said more budget cuts may be inevitable if the university doesn't receive funding from Springfield. However, there are currently no plans for state money to go to the university next year. The university currently receives one-third of its funding from the state. Through two stopgap budgets, the university has received about $32.5 million during the past year and a half, which compares with the last full year of state funding, $36.1 million, it received from the state during 2014-15. CSU was among universities that were hit the hardest by the state budget gridlock that cut off regular appropriations for higher education, social services and other areas.

Casper College takes funding cuts, but president remains calm - Seth Klamann, Trib

Casper College hasn't been immune to the cuts that have reached all corners of public education in Wyoming. Officials estimate the school has lost between 8 percent and 10 percent of its state funding this year. But president Darren Divine isn't panicking. His sky might be cloudy, but it isn't falling. "We can handle 10 percent," he said.

Monday, January 16, 2017

GSU envelopes Perimeter College, Troy Covington closing doors - Grishma Rimal, Newton Citizen

Although small-scaled, institutes of higher education in Rockdale and Newton counties made substantial splashes in 2016 with the following news. Perimeter College becomes a part of Georgia State. The Newton campus of what was formerly known as Georgia Perimeter College is now a part of Georgia State University. The two institutions merged early January after the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia capped a year of planning and preparations with a vote approving the consolidation. With the merger, Georgia Perimeter College was renamed Perimeter College, and Georgia State’s enrollment exceeded 50,000 students.

Bring balance back to Lincoln - World-Herald editorial

Here’s what we would wish for them and others who are in a position to shape 2017: > NU President Hank Bounds: Skillful navigation of tighter state appropriations and their impacts on University of Nebraska campuses. >> University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Jeffrey Gold: Strong hires for a new cancer center, simulation hub and biocontainment unit. >> University of Nebraska at Omaha Chancellor John Christensen: Public appreciation of UNO’s transformation and a worthy successor. >> University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green: Enough private support to maintain UNL’s academic trajectory in lean budget times. >> University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen: Continued success educating Nebraska’s first-generation college students. >> Creighton University President Daniel Hendrickson: A new dental school and private development that further weave CU into the city.

Eastern's year of woes top local story of 2016 - JG-TC STAFF

The struggles of Eastern Illinois University have been chosen as the JG-TC's No. 1 story in the Coles County area for 2016. In February, as Illinois moved into its eighth month without a budget, Eastern announced plans for an estimated 200 layoffs of non-instructional employees -- as well as furloughing all administrative and professional staff additionally in March to make it through the spring semester. The layoffs, along with cash flow reserves and budget cuts and freezes, were enacted to push Eastern through the semester.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

State needs community colleges, needs to fund them, says Washington system’s retiring chief - Katherine Long, Seattle Times

Washington’s community colleges are still struggling to recover from recession-era budget cuts, yet offer a solid path to many middle-skill jobs that pay good wages and are in high demand, says the outgoing director of the community-college system. Marty Brown, who became executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in 2012, also says the college system needs to do a better job of publicizing its best programs. Brown announced his retirement this month. He’ll leave in June; the search is getting underway for a replacement.

Calling for WIU to Demonstrate a United Front against the State's Inaction - RICH EGGER , WVIK

The state of Illinois has gone 18 months without a budget. And the stop gap spending plan is about to expire with no new deal in sight. So Bill Thompson, head of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at Western Illinois University, said higher education must collaboratively push for change by pressuring politicians to come up with a budget. “We're asking you to work with us. Not against us. Not around us. But with us,” Thompson said during remarks given at the WIU Board of Trustees meeting in December.

Why Employers Should Care About The Cost Of College - Marcos Cordero,

Everyone is aware of the rising cost of college and how it is affecting young adults. Employers may think the issue won’t affect their organization, but the magnitude of the student debt crisis is something companies can’t escape. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that currently Americans owe $1.26 trillion in student debt. Of those who hold educational loans, 11.1 percent are more than 90 days delinquent on their payments. As a point of comparison, consider the number of homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments at the height of the housing crisis. In the first quarter of 2010 only 8.9 percent of mortgages were delinquent. Considering how widespread the effects of housing crisis were, it might be time to start planning for the national fallout the cost of college might cause and how it could potentially affect employers.