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Behind the News

A December 2014 measles outbreak, which began in California’s Disneyland and has now spread to 14 states, brought national attention to the University of California system’s policy that requires vaccination only against hepatitis B

Recent campus outbreaks of easily spread but preventable diseases have forced administrators across the nation to review their institutions’ immunization policies.

Immunization policy on potentially deadly illnesses—including measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps—has a rather dense structure that varies by state (and often, by university or system). And these policies are becoming ever more important to clarify, define and enforce on campus.

The latest NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments shows college increasing spending from their endowments. (Click to enlarge)

U.S. colleges and universities last year paid for operations with bigger chunks of their endowments to compensate for declines in key sources of revenue, particularly tuition and public funding.

The good news is that the average rate of return rose for the second straight year, from 11.7 percent in FY2013 to 15.5 percent in 2014, according to the “NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments,” released in January.

Promos such as these remind off-campus residents to be neighborly in Fort Collins. Sophomores transitioning from on-campus housing attend a “Where I Live” workshop covering living expenses and rental agreements. Each August, staff, residents, and campus and city police hit the streets to distribute information on city residence codes and laws. And during a fall community cleanup, students offer to rake leaves and wash windows for their neighbors.

From dealing with an increase in student housing to managing off-campus student conduct, Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins have a more than decade-long partnership that’s become a model for other higher ed institutions and their hometowns.

The University System of Georgia has worked to combine several more of its higher education institutions this year in what is likely the nation’s most aggressive and high-profile campus consolidation program.

Around the country, institutions are merging at a slower pace, with some proposed consolidations collapsing under backlash from students and other community members.

College ranking systems are typically viewed as unreliable metrics, often accused of practicing favoritism based on questionable criteria that varies by publisher.

In an attempt to provide an unbiased and informed resource for prospective students and their families, the Obama administration has formulated its own version of a college ranking system.

With a design to do things their own way, Generation Z, or people ages 16 to 19, could change higher ed.

The number of college students with dependent children has been growing, with 4.8 million U.S. undergrads raising children.

Yet, campus-based child care has been declining, according to a new analysis of 2013 U.S. Department of Education data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

President Barack Obama is not acting like someone whose party suffered heavy defeats in the recent midterm election. Last month he previewed America’s College Promise, an ambitious plan that could help his earlier goal of increasing the number of college graduates to become a reality.

“Put simply, I’d like to see the first two years of community college be free for everyone who is willing to work for it,” Obama said in making the announcement. “It is something we can accomplish and it’s something that will train our workforce so we can compete with anyone in the word.”

In 2013, nearly seven in 10 borrowers owed less than $25,000 in college debt, according to the College Board. (Click to enlarge)

Might the cliche of the forever-indebted college student someday become a fable?

According to a new College Board report, total college student debt for 2013-14 is down by $8.7 billion from the previous school year, with students having borrowed $106 billion. This is the third consecutive year American student borrowing has decreased.

Ohio State, Arizona State, Creighton (Neb.), Bentley (Mass.), George Mason (Va.) and Purdue (Ind.) universities are among the first that have hired Gallup to survey their alumni to gather data on their graduates’ well-being and workplace engagement.

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