Counting Students & Cataloging Campus Hunger

Matthew Quinn with Cooke Scholars

January 11, 2019 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Campus food insecurity receives federal attention and national polls suggest priorities for K-12 and early education.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • U.S. News & World Report explains how changes to the National School Lunch Program and immigration policy have created difficulties in maintaining a certifiable count of students from low-income families. An accurate count is important for proper funding of many other public programs.
  • Two recent national polls demonstrate strong public interest in funding education. Education Week describes findings from the First Five Years Fund’s annual poll on early childhood education, and Politico reports that a majority of Americans say increased spending on public K-12 education should be an “extremely important” goal for Congress.


Higher Education:

  • New guidance from the Department of Education seeks to ease the difficult process of verification of student financial information. The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Washington Post explain how these changes are expected to expedite parts of the financial aid process.
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases the first-ever federal report on campus food insecurity, finding that “of the 3.3 million students who were potentially eligible [for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)] in 2016, less than half said they participated.” The GAO report includes recommendations for better communicating SNAP eligibility to students, and The Atlantic provides additional context about the findings.
  • Bridge Magazine describes an effort in Michigan to support degree completion through “fund[ing] things that typically make nontraditional students dropout of college, such as a late rent payment, car repairs, a child’s medical bill or babysitting.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • We were saddened to hear this weekend of the passing of Dr. Matthew Quinn, who served as our founding executive director for more than a decade. Dr. Quinn transformed Mr. Cooke’s vision into a roadmap that guides our work even today. Read more about Dr. Quinn’s impact here.
  • “When I worked just a little harder, was a little kinder, reached out to professors a little more, it made a world of a difference and has allowed me to excel far beyond the average student,” Cooke Scholar Jacob Sorenson tells the East Valley Tribune. Jacob recently received the Cooke Graduate Scholarship.
  • Inside Higher Ed cites the Foundation’s True Merit research in its coverage of early decision admissions.


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Photo header: Dr. Matthew J. Quinn with Cooke Scholars.