"A core premise of the Obama administration’s college ratings plan -- and one that makes it controversial -- is that colleges and universities need to be held more accountable for student outcomes," Inside Higher Ed reports.
"Middle-class families are fed up. President Obama’s attempt to end a tax benefit of college savings accounts exposed a nerve: the frustration felt by families over how hard it is to cover rising tuition costs," Danielle Douglas-Gabriel writes in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.
"A prestigious Ivy League school can cost upwards of $50,000 a year. That's out of reach for many people — especially low-income families. But what some of those families don't know is that with financial aid, they can attend those schools for $10,000 or less," The Deseret News reports.
"On Tuesday, President Obama dropped his proposal to reform popular college savings plans. On Wednesday, Republicans wouldn’t let him hear the end of it," Time reports.
"President Obama’s backpedaling this week on a provision in his tax plan that would have gutted benefits for college-savings plans highlights the challenges facing advocates for low-income students who want to overhaul higher education tax breaks," inside Higher Ed reports.
"Under fire from Republicans and even House Democratic leaders, the White House withdrew this week its plan to end the tax-free status of the college savings accounts known as 529 plans. It’s the first political debacle of 2015 for President Obama on the domestic-policy front — but a part of me almost admires him for trying this particular gambit," Charles Lane writes in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.
"The first rule of modern tax policy is raise taxes only on the rich. The second rule is that your family isn’t rich, even if you make a lot of money," according to The New York Times' The Upshot.
"Billed as a way to get more low-income high-school graduates into good jobs, free-college proposals such as the one proposed recently in the Minnesota Senate have been met with skepticism in some higher education circles," MPR News reports.
"As part of his State of the Union speech, President Obama proposed a partnership of federal and state government funding to make two years of community college free for everyone," Jeffrey Dorfman writes in an opinion piece for Forbes.
"Some student loan horror stories are truly awful. ... Family members may find themselves not just grappling with a death, but suddenly responsible for their loved one's student loans," according to U.S. News and World Report.
"It’s one of the big complaints about college admissions: Families don’t learn a bottom-line price until quite late in the game. Net-price calculators were supposed to change all that," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
"The credit hour is an inadequate unit for measuring student learning. Yet no better replacement for higher education’s gold standard has emerged, and getting rid of it right now would be risky," Inside Higher Ed reports.
"The improving economy contributed to a second strong year in a row for colleges’ endowment returns, according to an annual study released on Thursday," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
"After losing interest in attending the University of Chicago, high school senior Sarah Schmoller didn’t bother to apply before the Jan. 1 deadline. The university, though, wouldn’t take no for an answer," Bloomberg Business reports.
Welcome to NASFAA’s Partners in Policy, a news series in which we profile colleagues at the associations, foundations, and think tanks that NASFAA works with to advance higher education and financial aid policies. In this installment, we profile Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation staff members Nick Lee and Sarah Bauder.