higher education

The U.S. Department of Education is making it harder for colleges to reconsider — and potentially increase — financial aid for students who have lost jobs or family income in the current economic crisis.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved tuition hikes for four state universities, while the University of Kansas and Kansas State University held their tuition flat.

KU announced its plans not to raise tuition last month, saying the school needs to stay competitive. But it also said it wasn't right to raise tuition as students and their families deal with lost jobs and income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

K-State gave similar reasons.

WICHITA, Kansas — The good news for Kansas public colleges: 1,000 more Latino students will be enrolled a decade from now, enough to fill the seats left empty by fewer white students.

The bad news? The state predicts fewer students will earn a degree or certification in 2029, judging by Kansas’ poor track record in graduating Latino students.

WICHITA, Kansas — Faculty at state colleges in Kansas find themselves armed with fresh ammunition in their ongoing plea for more pay.

From Texas Standard:

Over the years, Texas has tried to boost enrollment in college. After all, people with college degrees tend to earn higher wages. But for some first-generation students, many of whom also come from families with low incomes, the transition from high school to college can be daunting. And it's this transition that one education nonprofit says is a blind spot in the Texas education system.

States can get a substantial return on investment if they help single mothers in college access child care, support services and financial aid, according to a new study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

But even though about 10% of all undergraduates in Kansas and Missouri are single mothers, neither state makes significant investments in helping them persist to graduation. 

Buzzy phrases like “regenerative agriculture” and “precision farming” are gaining traction among younger farmers looking to produce more sustainably. But implementing newer practices can require education and training.

Some schools in Nebraska are embracing the interest in specialized agriculture degrees, and want to make them more accessible to students across the region.

This fall, there were nearly 250,000 fewer students enrolled in college than a year ago, according to new numbers out Monday from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which tracks college enrollment by student.

"That's a lot of students that we're losing," says Doug Shapiro, who leads the research center at the Clearinghouse.

Six players signed contracts, wore Jayhawk T-shirts and put on blue KU ballcaps.

But they won’t be running onto a basketball court or football field anytime soon. They are the University of Kansas’ first varsity esports team.

NEODESHA, Kansas — Three hundred middle and high schoolers filed into their school auditorium last week in the small, southeast Kansas town of Neodesha, uncertain why they’d been called there.

They left cheering and hugging. Some of the older students were teary-eyed.

College tuition and fees need no longer hold back graduates of this manufacturing community, about halfway between Wichita, Kansas, and Joplin, Missouri. A wealthy donor hoping to turn around the fortunes of his dwindling hometown — population 2,300 — will foot those costs for the next 25 years, and possibly decades beyond that.

Every college in Kansas is more expensive today than it was a decade ago.

Tuition and fees haven’t gone up every year — this year, the Kansas Board of Regents convinced most of the state’s universities to hold tuition flat — but that doesn’t change how expensive college has become.

For decades, a university education meant students had to load up on math, history and English courses. Now, Kansas universities are slashing those general education requirements so more students can graduate on time and have more room for classes in their major.

Crushing Burden of Student Debt

Oct 4, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

I’m Joseph Lichterman from Baltimore, Maryland.

Educated is as good — if not better — than everyone says. Author Tara Westover writes about her childhood, growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon family in Idaho.

Kirsten Toft is a senior at the University of Denver. As a full-time student, she has two jobs and works at an unpaid internship. 

But she has to rely on her school’s food pantry and can barely afford what she’s doing. 

“I need to get by,” she said. “I need rent, pay my bills.” 

Sometimes her family will help her out, but it’s rare — her mother has helped with rent about four times in the last two years. She describes her parents as “not the wealthiest” and has a younger brother who’s also in school. 

Wichita State University is partnering with Kansas State University to start a satellite nursing program at K-State.

The partnership addresses the rising need for registered nurses in Kansas.

To get the best college experience, live on campus.

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3 into law earlier this summer, in addition to increasing school funding and approving teacher raises, he also approved a requirement for all Texas high school seniors to fill out an application for federal or state financial aid for college.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

The UT System allocated $160 million of its oil money for the project.

From The Texas Tribune:

Seeking to make college more affordable, the University of Texas will use some of its oil money to dramatically expand the financial aid it offers to low- and middle-income undergraduates on its flagship Austin campus.

US Departmet of Education

Texas will soon begin requiring all high school seniors in the state to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as a FAFSA, before graduating.

Jenny Sanchez is a first-generation college student.

"My mom stopped at sixth grade and my dad stopped freshman year of high school and they didn't continue from there," she said.

The 19-year-old is a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), studying biology and pre-med. She wants to be a pediatrician one day.

Wichita State student Jonathan Gallegos said gamers on campus felt like an afterthought.

“The school wasn’t really supporting us,” Gallegos said.

This semester, the support came. Gallegos is now a varsity athlete.

Kansas universities are looking beyond the Midwest — as far out as California — for out-of-state students to fill their classrooms.

But other states are competing just as hard for Kansas students.

DODGE CITY — Check out Dodge City.

A new $12 million waterpark. A shiny new craft brewery — not far from the new whiskey distillery. And, yes, that trendy new downtown cafe.

A nearly $6 million addition to Boot Hill Museum just kicked off last fall. That’s about when Dodge City wrapped up $86 million in renovations and expansions to its schools.

A college degree is still your best bet for earning top dollar.

Yet with more Americans graduating from college, having a degree is no longer enough to stand out. To make the most of that degree in an economy filled with college grads, choosing the right degree is that much more important. Here are some tips for finding the right college major.

Henrion Hall is where the dirty art happens at Wichita State University.

Sculpting. Ceramics. Spray painting. Students are likely to ding, splash and generally make a mess of the walls. With the building nearing 100 years old, the university doesn't mind.

Life is expensive. Rent, health care, raising a family, saving for retirement — it adds up. But so does college debt. In fact, the cost of college shot up many times faster than typical U.S. earnings in recent decades.

So, what to do after high school? Here’s what you need to know.

Former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson and his wife have created a scholarship at Wichita State University to help immigrant students.

DISABLED GRAD RATES DECLINE:   Texas students with disabilities graduate at lower rates than their peers – and that gap is widening. That’s what Justin Porter – the Texas Education Agency’s statewide director of special education – told the state Senators during the Texas Senate Education Committee hearings last Friday. 

“The data for graduation rates trails by a couple of years," explained Porter. "So the most recent that we have here is 2016, but the trajectory there is definitely not going the right direction"

Erin Wolfram, with the University of Kansas Career Center, enters a small room in Summerfield Hall on the KU campus, where she is suddenly surrounded by hundreds of suits, dresses, shirts and ties filling floor-to-ceiling racks. The Professional House of Garments is filled with clothes waiting to help students dress for success as they prepare for job and internship interviews.

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss a provocative question: does it really matter where you go to college? The answer can be complicated, and it partially depends on what you are looking for.

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