The Unemployment-Enrollment Link

The Unemployment-Enrollment Link

Employment and unemployment rates, much more than the number of high school graduates or other population trends — which are important over time but very slow moving — are the biggest factors driving enrollment for community colleges, for-profit colleges and some open-access four-year institutions. Selective public and private colleges can control the size of their incoming classes by tinkering with admission criteria, and they tend to draw students whose decision is not whether to attend college but where. But community colleges accept anyone with a high school diploma who wants to enroll, and the size of that potential market varies depending on what the alternatives are. For low-income students, especially at colleges where tuition is low and often covered by financial aid, the biggest cost of college is the opportunity cost — the money a student could have earned by working instead of going to school… Continue Reading at Inside Higher...
‘Free’ vs. ‘Affordable’ Tuition- Presidential Candidates’ Plans Explained

‘Free’ vs. ‘Affordable’ Tuition- Presidential Candidates’ Plans Explained

As Democrats on the presidential campaign trail pitch their college affordability plans to voters, they are largely united in their calls for a big boost in federal spending on higher education. Following a monthslong effort by liberal groups to push “debt-free college” — and after President Obama’s call for free community college earlier this year — leading Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both now have proposals that would expand the role of the federal government in higher education. At the heart of both plans is a new federal-state matching program that would send billions of dollars to states and colleges with the goal of seeing tuition slashed or eliminated at public colleges and universities. For all the similarities, however, there are key differences in how Clinton and Sanders are approaching college affordability and which types of students their plans would benefit. Continue Reading at Inside Higher...
I defaulted on my student loans — here’s how it happened, and how I’m handling it

I defaulted on my student loans — here’s how it happened, and how I’m handling it

During my sophomore year at Fairleigh Dickinson, my father died of cancer — and I was left to pay for my education, which was about $30,000 a year. I took out a federal loan and two private loans through Sallie Mae. I also got jobs as a tutor and a gas station attendant, arranging my schedule so that I went to classes two days a week and worked the other five. It was exhausting and a lot of pressure, but I graduated on time in 1994 — with roughly $60,000 in student loan debt. The Road to Default … My first job was at a newspaper, making $18,000. It wasn’t much, but I still paid my loans on time. Then, in 2000, my wife was diagnosed with MS, and her employer effectively invented a reason to fire her… Continue Reading at Business...
Why Millennials and Boomers Are Adrift In the Same Debt-Filled Boat

Why Millennials and Boomers Are Adrift In the Same Debt-Filled Boat

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If Parade Magazine fell out of your Sunday paper—you know Parade, that 16-page shell-of-its-former-glory that makes grocery store circulars look like War and Peace—you would have seen “Millennials vs. Boomers,” a cover story featuring actress Abby Elliott and her father, the actor and comedian Chris “Woogie” Elliott. You would have read about all the quirky things that make old people charming (they pine for the days when there were only three channels on TV) and the things that make Millennials endearing (they call rosé “French Gatorade”). There’s Chris holding a hardbound world history book standing next to Abby, who holds a MacBook Pro. There’s also the inevitable paragraph about social media. Can you guess what’s not mentioned? How the student debt crisis is a plague on retirement for both Millennials and Boomers. They have more in common than they think, it turns out. Recent graduates aren’t the only ones who hold student debt. Their parents, who kindly took out loans on their child’s behalf or children’s behalf, are repaying them, too—and a lot closer to their target retirement age than their offspring. There’s a number that’s been floating around for a couple of years, reported by a number of outlets: $8,000—the average education loan debt held by pre-retirees (i.e. parents), up from $600 two decades ago. Read the Entire Article at The Street…...
Should you take out an insurance policy to cover college tuition?

Should you take out an insurance policy to cover college tuition?

Before Jackie Niblock sent her only son Ryan off to Virginia Tech this month, she made sure he had all of the snacks and comfy sheets he needed to feel at home in Blacksburg. And for her own comfort, she took out a $50,000 insurance policy that would reimburse Ryan’s college costs if he had to withdraw from school. For $146.43, Niblock purchased a one-semester policy from Allianz Global Assistance that covers up to 100 percent of tuition and housing costs if Ryan suffers a serious illness, injury or death, and up to 80 percent if he leaves school because of a mental health condition. “You plan for college from the time they’re little, so the last thing that you want is for something to go wrong and not have that investment protected,” said Niblock, who lives in Richmond. Continue Reading at Washington...