November 14, 2014: Education News We're Reading This Week


November 14, 2014—Here is what’s new in education news this week.

Many high-achieving, low-income students do not apply to the schools that will provide the most financial aid due to “misleading data,” says The Washington Post.

Three new reports show a positive trend in college costs. While “sticker prices” at public colleges rose an average of 1 percent after inflation, in each of the last two years, average net prices—“what people really pay, after accounting for grants from colleges and the government”—dropped in 2013-14 at four-year public colleges, writes Richard Perez-Pena.

For those taking out loans for their tuition, the national average student loan debt moved up two percent to $28,400 this year. Inside Higher Ed shares data from a new Institute for College Access and Success report.

In 2008 a higher education law required colleges to build financial aid calculators, an act with great intentions but one that led to many errors. Here David Leonhardt explains some of those problems and mentions Wellesley’s easy-to-use version, open to any potential collegian.

Oftentimes financial aid resources can be arcane and filled with jargon. This Chronicle of Higher Ed piece takes a look at how some college faculty members are trying to help students better understand the process, if not clean up the system altogether.

The Hechinger Report cites a new Annie E. Casey Foundation report that emphasizes helping both students and parents in an effort to lift kids out of poverty. In the U.S. 45 percent of children live in low-income families, says the report, a situation that can add stress to a child’s educational well-being.

Can an Obama administration order put better teachers into some of the nation’s poorest public schools? Hear more from The Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton.

What technology products are students using most in schools? Google Chromebooks says Ed Week, which “accounted for nearly one-third of all mobile-digital-device sales to schools in the United States in the first half of this year.” Many find the laptops simple and cost-efficient, most versions selling for under $300.

According to Sallie Mae, two-thirds of families used grants and scholarships to pay for college last year. But since financial aid award letters don’t simply state “accepted” or “rejected,” Forbes has compiled ten tips for comprehending these often misleading documents.

On Sunday, The New York Times featured a profile on the Samaanta Foundation. The organization, which provides financial and educational support for low-income students in Nepal, was founded by Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholar and Matthew J. Quinn Prize recipient Shrochis Karki.

College Scholar Abigail McPhee was featured in a fascinating article on millenials and television in The New York Times.