By Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2012
In a study published last month by the American Council on Education, American colleges and universities reported an increase in internationalization over the last three years, according to The New York Times. The study, “Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses,” looked at factors such as funding, degree requirements, curriculums, admissions, hiring policies and self-perception to assess the degree to which U.S. universities are incorporating international ideas into their strategic planning, The Times said. The study found a dramatic increase in the number of institutions that consider international background and experience when hiring faculty, up to 68 percent from 32 percent in 2006. This increase comes in spite of the fact that only 47 percent of those schools who reported having more of an international focus also reported an increase in spending in the area from five years ago, The Times reported. Despite the overall increase in internationalization, foreign language studies are decreasing, with only 37 percent of undergraduate students required to learn a foreign language to graduate, down from almost 53 percent in 2001, the Times reported.
Cornell University will only guarantee a “no loans” package to families with incomes of up to $60,000, a change from its previous policy that guaranteed families with incomes of up to $75,000 would not receive any loans as part of their financial aid packages, Inside Higher Ed reported. The policy, announced on July 3, will take effect for students enrolling in the fall of 2013. Cornell is also increasing the loan share for families with incomes of $75,000 to $119,000 from $3,000 up to $5,000, according to Inside Higher Ed. The move comes partially in response to Cornell’s ballooning financial aid budget, which has grown by 20 percent yearly since 2008. Cornell’s decision to scale back its “no loans” policy follows a similar growing trend among peer institutions, including Dartmouth and Williams College. In 2010, both institutions announced that they were restoring loans to families at higher income brackets and limiting “no loans” policies to only those at the bottom of the income distribution.
Recent research has found that students with higher levels of hope — defined as being able to set goals, visualize paths to achieve goals and find motivation to pursue difficult paths — are more likely to succeed, Inside Higher Ed reported. Such students get better grades and graduate at higher rates than students with lower levels of hope, according to the researchers. Several studies have found hope to be a better predictor of class ranking and grades than standardized test scores. Some studies are designed to help determine whether colleges and universities can use such findings to students’ advantage, including one in which students at a California university who underwent 90 minute “interventions” focused on increasing hope were more likely to make progress toward their goals after a month, according to Inside Higher Ed.