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Articles: Financial Services

A new book by Melinda Lewis and William Elliott shows how current aid models contribute to inequality, and discusses a number of promising alternatives.

Higher education is supposed to be a critical first step on the ladder that leads to economic mobility. But William Elliott and Melinda Lewis say that students often leave school with debilitating debt that delays or even prevents any upward climb on that ladder.

Students at California’s Santa Clara University are tapping their campus cards for various on-campus services instead of swiping, with the use of NFC technology. With convenience and efficiency as key drivers, the university plans to transition its NFC offerings to include mobile devices within the next couple of years.

Campus cards accomplish many tasks—from purchasing meals and vending machine snacks to unlocking dorm rooms and other campus facilities. A growing number of colleges and universities now offer even greater convenience, having replaced less-secure swipe cards with “contactless” cards and mobile devices that perform the same functions.

Effective student success initiatives begin long before that first day of classes and often continue beyond graduation. The colleges and universities highlighted in the third round of UB’s national Models of Excellence awards program demonstrate a commitment to that holistic experience.

Mary Piccioli is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz.

With freshman discount rates once again on the rise, it will be more important than ever for institutions to review whether their methodologies for developing a budget for financial aid are sufficiently robust.

Using a cohort-based budget approach is critical for understanding the implications of replacing a “cheaper” senior class with a more heavily discounted freshman class.

Given the amount of innovation transpiring daily on the American college campus, it’s not surprising that higher ed institutions have become destinations for the broader community. Outside groups host conferences, retreats, weddings and other social events at campus facilities, while travelers can sometimes find a room for the night.

Texas A&M University’s campaign to raise $4 billion for research, facilities and scholarships represents the largest-ever fundraising effort in a state known for going big. It’s also the second largest effort announced by a higher education institution.

The Oregon Promise program is similar to Tennessee Promise, which launched in fall 2015.

Oregon’s 17 community colleges expect a jump in fall 2016 enrollment, when the first group of eligible students takes advantage of the state’s new free tuition plan created this summer. The program is modeled after the groundbreaking Tennessee Promise initiative that enrolled its first students this year.

Nayef H. Samhat, president of Wofford College, believes cost of attendance would limit athletics program options for students at schools like his. The Wofford’s men’s basketball team emerged from the 2014-15 season as Southern Conference regular season champions and Southern Conference Tournament champions.

Several prominent Division I conferences (including the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA) have expressed support for cost of attendance, and Division I schools such as the University of Virginia and The University of Alabama now provide it; but not all member schools are on board.

Of the 23 types of organizations studied by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 2014, education—including higher ed—had the fifth highest frequency of fraud.

Embezzlement originating from any corner of campus can threaten any college and university. As for the losses, they can be big. Here are four ways technology and vigilance can help head off financial fraud.

Participants in Austin Peay State University’s Full Spectrum Learning spend an hour per week covering the transition to college, social and independence skills, and academic success strategies.

Programs for students on the autism spectrum are no longer a unique campus concept, but Austin Peay State University’s Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) initiative stands out from the crowd.

Input in shaping FSL comes from all groups involved—especially students with autism who participate in the program and their upperclassmen mentors. In addition, the effort is housed in the Tennessee university’s education department rather than in the disabilities services office.

In 1969, three-quarters of faculty at U.S. colleges and universities were tenured or tenure-track. That number dropped to just above one-quarter in 2013. (Click to enlarge)

Colleges and universities have made spending on administrators and part-time instructors a higher priority than raising salaries of core faculty members who have the biggest impact on learning, says a new report from the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education.

Orientation and engagement activities introduced by Iowa Lakes Community College administrators have driven down the student loan default rate. President Valerie Newhouse says the two trends are intertwined.

Community college students who take out the smallest loans default at the highest rates, and many borrowers who get into trouble make no effort to fix their problems.

Those are two findings in a new report, “A Closer Look at the Trillion,” which calls for institutional and federal policy changes to help students and community colleges better manage debt.

Earlier this year, former College of DuPage President Robert Breuder almost won himself a $763,000 golden parachute to leave the institution in March 2016, three years before his contract expired; that contract has since been voided by the college’s board, and the package reduced to $495,000.

In an apparent response, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed two new laws limiting terms for community college presidents and restricting their severance packages.

Students may forget their campus cards in their rooms or figure they don’t need their wallet for a short walk around the quad. But the one thing they are likely never to be without is a phone.

Donald J. Farish is president of Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.

We are in danger of creating an environment where the “best” (meaning the wealthiest) colleges and universities are perceived to be reserved for those with sufficient status, money and influence. Everyone else is effectively relegated to struggling institutions that cost too much yet that cannot provide sufficient financial aid to meet the needs of their students.