Opening Access to Gifted Education and College Opportunities


February 9, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. College access, affordability, and social mobility are highlighted in higher ed coverage. Gifted screening processes in Virginia and Washington state receive media attention. 

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.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • The Seattle Times reports: “Currently, almost all Washington children considered academically gifted are middle- or upper-class and white or Asian, which mirrors national patterns. And those trends can significantly influence a child’s future.” An update on the state’s stalled bill to require universal gifted screening is in The 74.
  • An analysis by The Associated Press suggests that adding an appeals process to the gifted screening process “exacerbates” the underrepresentation of minority students in advanced courses.
  • A brief on college access for first-generation students had findings for K-12 equity as well, writes Education Week. The findings from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that first-generation students “are less likely to enroll in challenging high school courses than their peers whose parents had earned bachelor’s degrees.”


Higher Education:

  • Additional findings from the NCES brief reported in Inside Higher Ed link the effects of first-generation status to implications on college choice and graduation rates.
  • “Universal and free [SAT or ACT] testing can help to level the playing field, uncovering disadvantaged students who can benefit from college,” reports The Brookings Institution.
  • “Students in 17 states and Puerto Rico can’t afford to attend a four-year public college and live on campus, even after grants, aid, loans, and working full-time over the summer,” finds the National College Access Network (NCAN). College affordability and access are some of the major topics in the Congressional hearings currently underway to overhaul the Higher Education Act, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • The highly publicized findings of the Raj Chetty et al. report on colleges and social mobility identified some institutions that defied overall trends and were able to admit and graduate large numbers of low-income students, outlines The Hechinger Report. “Now this same group of economists is drilling down and trying to figure out how some colleges manage to pull it off and see if there are things that others can copy.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is described in The Wall Street Journal‘s coverage of financial aid opportunities offered outside of the traditional bridge between high school and college: “A large provider of these awards is the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which each year selects about 45 transfer students to receive scholarship money for the final two to three years necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree. The amount of each scholarship varies, with a maximum of $40,000 a year.”
  • College Advising Corps Founder and CEO Nicole Hurd mentions the Cooke Foundation in her interview with swampED, a new podcast hosted by former Obama staffers Eric Waldo, Kyle Lierman, and Stephanie Sprow Owens. The podcast can also be streamed on Libsyn.


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