College Confusion & K-12 Inequities

Cooke Scholars work together at Scholars Weekend 2018

October 19, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Journalists and researchers examine equitable access to rigorous K-12 coursework. Also, confusion abounds in various steps of college and financial aid applications.

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High-achieving high school seniors can now apply for the Cooke College Scholarship Program and the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is accepting applications from community college students preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. Both programs provide up to $40,000 per year, as well as ongoing advising and access to the thriving Cooke Scholar community.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Nationally, millions of students lack access to key courses that would prepare them for college and career,” states a new report from ExcelinEd. “Twenty-one percent of high poverty [high] schools, or one in five, do not offer Algebra I or higher.”
  • A ProPublica/New York Times analysis finds one of the nation’s largest achievement gaps in Charlottesville, VA is exacerbated by disparities in access to advanced academic courses for the district’s Black students. ProPublica also collaborated on related coverage from Chalkbeat about how the Indianapolis Public Schools district is addressing racial gaps in its gifted programs.


Higher Education:

  • Separate articles from The Hechinger Report and Inside Higher Ed demonstrate the difficulty of predicting the price and payoff of college choices. Additional confusion can occur from “verification melt” for students with financial need, who are “disproportionately asked to verify their family’s income” when submitting the FAFSA, reports Education Dive.
  • Achieving the Dream releases a new study on Open Education Resources (OER). Dr. Karen A. Stout, the organization’s president and CEO, outlines the findings: “OER can be an important tool in helping more students — and particularly low-income and underrepresented students — afford college, engage actively in their learning, persist in their studies, and ultimately complete.”
  • Coverage of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard lawsuit is available from The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Boston Globe.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • It’s National Transfer Student Week! Our educational advisers share tips for transferring from community college to a four-year institution in a brief video and blog post.
  • Executive Director Seppy Basili speaks to WKSU about how partnerships between two-year and four-year institutions can benefit both students and schools.
  • “When state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, found out that an Ohio student recognized as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholar lived in the district she represented, she was astonished, ” reports The Chronicle-Telegram. “Manning presented a proclamation to McCormick Middle School eighth-grader Maya Feron at the Wellington Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening for her achievement.”
  • In NBC News THINK, Cooke Oxford Scholar Ryan Liu shares his thoughts on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.


Social Media Spotlight:


Photo header: Cooke Scholars work together at Scholars Weekend 2018.