September 16: Education News We're Reading This Week


September 16, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Popular articles criticize school funding formulas and the lack of state support for higher education.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Many high school guidance counselors have unreasonably large caseloads, says The Atlantic. This is especially a problem for low-income and first-generation students who may not have another adult to advise them through the college decision-making process. Instead, they might only “get three minutes for a life-changing conversation,” Executive Director Harold Levy explains.

  • Last week, Connecticut’s school funding formula was ruled in violation of the state’s constitution. The 74 Million reports on the ruling with hopes that other states will reconsider inequitable school funding systems.

  • “Every classroom has a few overachievers who perform above their grade level and don’t feel challenged by the status quo,” writes NPR. “A new report suggests they are surprisingly common — in some cases, nearly half of all students in a given grade.”


Higher Education:

  • “America is awash in a sea of untapped potential,” writes CLASS Coalition President Crystal Bonds for The Hill. “And when it comes to identifying and educating our best and brightest low-income and minority students, that potential falls even further.”

  • In addition to financial assistance, Inside Higher Ed notes that colleges and universities should also focus on recruiting, retention, and graduation practices that support disadvantaged students.

  • “Unlike after previous economic downturns, state spending on higher education has not bounced back as the economy rebounds,” finds The Hechinger Report. According to a related article by FiveThirtyEight, “the decline in state support accounts for about three-quarters of the rising cost of college.”

  • As college costs increase, many families are paying “a considerably increased share of household income,” says Catharine Bond Hill in The Washington Post. The opinion piece also notes that many institutions with generous financial aid packages often do not admit high percentages of students from low-income backgrounds.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Cooke Scholar An Garagiola-Bernier’s commentary in Community College Daily explores the challenges facing nontraditional college students.

  • Serving as a panelist at the Ford Foundation’s “Funding Futures: Scholarships as agents of social change” event, Executive Director Harold Levy discussed how a lack of high school counseling and admissions barriers keep bright, low-income students from attending college. Levy also stated that many low-income students are not aware that the sticker price of tuition may be reduced or waived.

  • Although only recently transferring from Mesa Community College to Arizona State University, Cooke Scholar Jacob Sorenson is already finding opportunities to contribute to autism research, reports The State Press.


Scholarship & Grant Opportunities:

  • Our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is currently open. Community college students who are determined to complete their bachelor’s degree can apply now for up to $40,000 per year, along with opportunities for study abroad, internship stipends, graduate school funding and more! Start your application.

  • We are now accepting proposals for Good Neighbor Grants. Selected grantees in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area will receive a one-time grant of between $10,000 – $35,000 to support the establishment of new programs or the enhancement of existing initiatives that support high potential, low-income students. Read the grant guidelines.

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