Contingency Plans & College Admissions


January 19, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Educators and public administrations prepare for a potential shutdown. New research on college access quantifies who is left behind, as well as the unintended consequences that can arise from admissions practices.

The 2018 Cooke Young Scholars Program application is open! This selective five-year, pre-college scholarship provides high-performing 7th grade students with comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for high school, summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities. Apply now! The deadline is March 21, 2018.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Politico explains how a government shutdown would affect Head Start and Impact Aid funding for school districts. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ full memo outlining the department’s contingency plan can be found in Education Week.
  • Undocumented high school seniors are facing a college admissions process that is “incalculably more chaotic” than years past, states Chalkbeat.


Higher Education:

  • “An estimated half of all college students struggle with food insecurity, even at elite flagship universities like the University of California, Berkeley, and selective private schools like Northwestern University.” Sara-Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple University, shares research and solutions in The New York Times.
  • Reporting on new research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, MarketWatch writes that “The college admissions industrial complex limits access to [elite institutions] — even in many cases shutting out qualified students.”
  • Colleges and universities that implement test-optional admissions policies often experience an increase of applications – and subsequent rejections. In The Conversation, Kelly Rosinger, Cooke Scholar alumna and Assistant Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University, explains that “by increasing competition for a limited number of seats on campus and increasing the SAT scores used to generate college rankings, test-optional policies may actually threaten the very access goals they were designed to achieve.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Ithaka S+R launches a research collaboration with Two Year First Year to “consolidate and summarize existing research on institutional supports for first year students in two-year programs, and significantly expand the knowledge base with a first-of-its-kind survey of institutional practices across the country.” The project is receiving financial support from the Cooke Foundation.
  • Essex County College celebrates Diego Cruz-Burban’s award of the Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Sofia Medina-Pardo and Ernest Dimbo, two fellow Cooke Scholars and Essex alumni, recently visited their former campus to share advice with current community college students majoring in STEM fields.


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