By Katie Tai, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, August 10, 2012
Upper-middle-income families are being hit hardest financially as a result of rising college fees and the slumped economy, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal defines upper-middle income as families who sit financially between the 80th and 95th percentile of nationwide households. These households have seen a 6.1% increase in student loan debt from 2007 to 2010, and while borrowing has also increased in lower-income families, the difference is not as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, the price of tuition of four-year colleges has doubled since 1985, according to the College Board. Richard Bischoff, vice president for enrollment management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told the Journal that he believes the downturn in the economy will change the ways families consider education and their financial situations.
Although the federal government has halted its attempt to force online colleges to become licensed in every state in which they operate, individual states have created their own systems for regulating online college authorization, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. For example, Minnesota has begun to send cease and desist letters to those universities that resist the state’s authorization rules. The dissimilarity between authorization systems of each state places a burden on cash-strapped public universities that cannot afford to employ enough staff to navigate each state’s legal system, Russell Poulin, deputy director for research and analysis for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, told the Chronicle. The U.S. Department of Education released a statement that announced it would not seek to reissue the 2011 regulation that attempted to enforce state authorization, which was eventually blocked by the courts, according to The Chronicle.
Director of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education Maureen McLaughlin wants more American college students to obtain the necessary skills to succeed in the international workplace, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. McLaughlin said that the department has established a more deliberate and defined framework for a global plan to increase international engagement. Included in that framework is an increase in “education diplomacy,” which features global diplomatic relations facilitated by academia, including a larger number of international exchange students, The Chronicle reported. However, some international educators fear that there will be less support and funding for smaller groups of graduates who immerse themselves deeply in a particular language or part of the world, cuts that could compromise U.S. national security. Recently, Congress has also suggested cuts to international education and foreign-language programs, according to The Chronicle.