WATER COOLER [POLITICS & POLICY]
CONGRESS EYES MAJOR EXPANSION OF GI BILL EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS: Congressional Republicans and Democrats are moving ahead on a plan to expand educational benefits for veterans under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The bipartisan legislation unveiled on Thursday is expected to move quickly, at least through the House, over the next several weeks.
A new report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce considers the economic worth of postsecondary credentials and also questions whether colleges are doing all they can to communicate that worth to students.
While collegiate programs of study have exploded in number — quintupling from 410 in 1985 to 2,260 in 2010 — college grads are also expressing "buyer's remorse," feeling as though they didn't have enough information to choose the "right" major for the workplace.
Access to postsecondary education has also expanded thanks to the internet, which various employers have taken advantage of as a benefit, according to the report.
A group representing major technology firms including Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday to abandon plans to reverse the landmark 2015 rules barring internet service providers from blocking or slowing consumer access to web content.
The Internet Association said in its filing with the FCC that dismantling the net neutrality rules "will create significant uncertainty in the market and upset the careful balance that has led to the current virtuous circle of innovation in the broadband ecosystem."
The federal government, in concert with the states and institutions, could do more to increase transparency and enhance market accountability in higher education. More effectively reporting data that it already collects and collecting better data on cost, quality and value would provide a number of benefits. Students could use the information to avoid investing in schools or programs that do not provide a positive return on investment and to discover options that they may have eliminated on the basis of incomplete or faulty information.
Researchers and policymakers could more readily judge where investments in federal aid are paying off and where reforms could improve efficiency and reduce waste. Private firms could use data to come up with rankings and ratings to reflect the unique preferences of different students.
Mitch Daniels went from running the state of Indiana, as its two-term Republican governor, to running its top flight public university, Purdue University, based in West Lafayette.
Since Daniels began his tenure in 2013, Purdue has made plenty of headlines. First, the school partnered with Gallup on an ambitious project touted as "the largest representative study of college graduates in U.S. history." The goal? To find out what graduates really value about their educations. The takeaway: Fancy degrees don't mean much for people's well-being.
Earlier this year, Daniels also dropped a bombshell when he announced Purdue's acquisition of Kaplan University. It was an unprecedented move for a public university to take over a for-profit, online college, especially given the for-profit sector's recent regulatory troubles. Negotiations were conducted in secret, which Daniels said was necessary under federal investment rules.
Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing.
The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments.
Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation.