Why the Work-Study Formula Needs Updating

Public work-study funds don’t go to students who need them most, and other news from around the Web this week.

National Journal
Sophie Quinton
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Sophie Quinton
Jan. 6, 2014, midnight

Here’s a roundup of the edu­ca­tion art­icles that caught Next Amer­ica’s eye from Dec. 30 to Jan. 6. All ad­dress trends that par­tic­u­larly af­fect minor­ity stu­dents. 

FED­ER­AL WORK-STUDY MONEY BE­NE­FITS WEALTH­I­ER STU­DENTS. Nearly a quarter of stu­dents re­ceiv­ing work-study aid come from fam­il­ies with in­comes of more than $80,000 a year, and about half of re­cip­i­ents at­tend private, non­profit uni­versit­ies, ac­cord­ing to the Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment. Less than 2 per­cent of com­munity-col­lege stu­dents — who are more likely to be low-in­come — have work-study jobs. The 50-year-old for­mula that de­term­ines al­loc­a­tion of pub­lic dol­lars be­ne­fits high-cost col­leges that have been in­ves­ted in work-study for a long time. The Hechinger Re­port

HOW CUNY’S ASAP PRO­GRAM SPEEDS DE­GREE COM­PLE­TION. A pro­gram that guar­an­tees free tu­ition and text­books, in­tens­ive ad­vising, and a struc­tured sched­ule is in­creas­ing as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree com­ple­tion at the City Uni­versity of New York. An ana­lys­is of low-in­come stu­dents need­ing re­medi­ation found that a third of stu­dents tak­ing part in Ac­cel­er­ated Study in As­so­ci­ate Pro­grams gradu­ated in two and a half years, com­pared with less than a fifth of nor­mally en­rolled stu­dents. CUNY, a di­verse urb­an col­lege sys­tem, is work­ing with non­profit Com­plete Col­lege Amer­ica to bring the path­way to com­munity col­leges in oth­er cit­ies. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

BOOST­ING PH.D. DI­VERSITY BY DEEM­PHAS­IZ­ING THE GRE. A part­ner­ship between Vander­bilt and Fisk, a his­tor­ic­ally black uni­versity, has in­creased minor­ity par­ti­cip­a­tion in sci­ence doc­tor­al pro­grams in part by em­phas­iz­ing char­ac­ter over test scores in ad­mis­sions de­cisions. The Mas­ter’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Pro­gram has ac­cep­ted 68 stu­dents since 2004, 55 of whom come from un­der­rep­res­en­ted minor­ity groups. Stu­dents who com­plete the pro­gram have a 100 per­cent job-ac­cept­ance rate. NPR

COM­MON CORE COULD HURT ENG­LISH-LAN­GUAGE LEARNERS. Some edu­cat­ors are wor­ry­ing that new K-12 aca­dem­ic stand­ards, with their em­phas­is on com­plex reas­on­ing, could hurt non-nat­ive Eng­lish speak­ers. The Hechinger Re­port heads to a Cali­for­nia ele­ment­ary school to find out how the new stand­ards are chan­ging math class. The Hechinger Re­port

WHY ARE L.A.’S iPADS SO EX­PENS­IVE? The Los Angeles Uni­fied School Dis­trict is pay­ing $768 per tab­let, com­pared with $200-a-piece devices some San Diego stu­dents are us­ing. Oth­er dis­tricts are pay­ing even less to put more tech­no­logy in stu­dents’ hands. L.A. Schools Su­per­in­tend­ent John Dea­sey says the dis­trict wants to give stu­dents get the best: The devices are high-end Apple iPads that come with ad­di­tion­al math and Eng­lish cur­riculum ma­ter­i­als. Los Angeles Times

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