Massachusetts Updates:

Massachusetts to Adopt A College Financial Stress Test.

With more colleges closing and merging, the Board of Higher Education is taking matters into its own hands. The board approved recommendations to create a new Office of Student Protection (OSP), which will confidentially assess and monitor colleges’ financial situation with the goal of protecting students by proactively putting in place a plan to avoid abrupt shutdowns such as Mount Ida College last fall.

Our founder and president, Bob Hildreth, has been working closely with Mount Ida parents and students, supporting their lawsuit against the colleges’ trustees. He, himself, a former trustee of Boston College, has a deep understanding of college finance. He testified at the hearing, commending the board for taking college closures seriously and for working on mechanisms that will protect students’ interests first. However, he warned that college finances are complicated and that educators are not financial experts. He urged the board to create a formal financial institution to provide the expertise that is essential to this task (see his full testimony here).

What became of Boston’s valedictorians?

Have you heard about Boston Magazine’s Valedictorian Project? It exposes a harsh reality that Boston’s brightest students are struggling to make a middle-class income more than a decade after graduation. A quarter failed to graduate college within six years, which partly explained their financial struggles. 94 percent of those who couldn’t finish college in 6 years earned less than $50,000. Once again, we see racial disparities

with white valedictorians were more than twice as likely to earn at least %50,00o compared to their minority counterparts. The study also exposes the great divide in earnings between valedictorians from the city’s elite schools (namely  Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science) and everywhere else. Read some of the solutions highlighted by the project here.

Other MA news:

The college bubble is starting to burst – Dependency on student loans is the cause of the problem

Most Students In Massachusetts’ No-Interest Loan Program Are in Collection

New Mass. Department regs: Helping hand or death knell for small colleges?

Leaders lobby for education money

Teachers Association Asks Baker To Commit $1.5 Billion More For Education

Green Mountain College in Vermont will shut down

Abrupt closure of Boston Language Institute spurs review by state

Hampshire College Announces It Is Seeking A Merger

Regulating College Closures

Education Funding At Center Of Gov. Baker Budget Package

Mass. Seeks To Weigh The Rights Of Colleges In Trouble Against Those Of Their Students

‘ZooMass’ no more. Is turning UMass Amherst into an elite university what the state needs?

Outrageous payouts, bonuses fatten UMass administrators’ wallet

Commentary: Massachusetts lacks equity in higher education

National updates:

New Fed Research shows drop in homeownership is linked to Student Debt

While it was long suspected, new research from the Federal Reserve has linked two big shifts that have helped reshape the U.S. economy to  rising student debt: a drop in homeownership among young Americans and the flight of college graduates from rural areas. Their estimation shows that roughly 20 percent of the decline in homeownership among young adults can be attributed to their increased student loan debts since 2005.  Another interesting finding is that a $1,000 increase in student loan debt causes a 1 to 2 percentage point drop in the homeownership rate for student loan borrowers during their late 20s and early 30s. This is an unsustainable path for our youth and our economy. We need to address it now and fight for #ZeroDebt future!

Will deregulation bring innovation to higher education?

Earlier in January, DeVos released a sweeping list of proposed changes to the federal regulations that govern our higher education system. Pushing for major deregulation such as deferring more authority to accreditors, letting colleges outsource programs, removing protections, department of Education argues that they want to unleash innovation in higher education. But many higher ed experts are concerned. These changes will open the door for more potential abuse of student loan borrowers.

Other National News:

More U.S. University Presidents Rake in Millions of Dollars

Taking College One Meal at a Time

We may soon find out whether student-loan companies have to follow State Law

NY Governor Cuomo again advances licensing requirements for student loan servicers

How elite US schools give preference to wealthy and white ‘legacy’ applicants

This business is to offer first-of-its-kind Student Debt Relief Program

Student Loan News: Presidential Hopefuls Talk Student Debt

Retreating From Dependence On Federal Student Loans