September 28, 2012
ND: Board increases college entrance standards
This week the North Dakota Board of Higher Education approved new admissions standards for the state's public colleges and universities, with the changes taking effect in 2015. The proposal divides the state's public higher education institutions into three groups, with doctoral institutions having the highest entrance standards. Entrance scores will be determined by a mathematical formula that include high school grades, course work and ACT scores. North Dakota residents will be awarded a small point bonus. Students who meet the "index number" would automatically be accepted, while those who fall short could ask admissions officers on each campus for an exception. The board also approved a measure that would limit schools' ability to offer tuition discounts to international and out-of-state students.
Minot Daily News (Date posted: September 27, 2012)
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill (video) this week requiring a student consultation period of 30-days prior to public notice for a proposed fee increase at the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). The new law also requires the governing boards to provide a justification for the increase, outline efforts to ease the financial burden on low-income students, the potential impact of fee increases on loan burdens and potential alternative policies.
KSEE (Date posted: September 27, 2012)
Virginia’s public college and university presidents are calling for changes to state law that would protect administrators and campus counseling centers from liability in lawsuits, such as the ones filed after the Virginia Tech shooting. The president of Virginia Tech has met with the state's attorney general on the need such legislation, but it remains unclear whether changes will be pursued in the legislative session.
Student Aid, Access and Affordability
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Date posted: September 26, 2012)
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a pair of bills (video) this week aiming to make the state a leader in digital college textbooks. The first bill requires the state to establish a nine-member faculty council charged with picking 50 lower-division classes for which digital textbooks should be developed and overseeing their implementation. The second bill creates the California Open Source Library to house digital textbooks. Students would be able to access the library for free or a small fee.
Associated Press (Date posted: September 28, 2012)
PA: Lawmakers send campus drilling measure to governor
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday allowing the state to lease mineral rights on some state-owned lands. This includes natural-gas exploration, coal mining and quarrying limestone around universities, prisons and other state institutions. The legislation stipulates that half of the fees and royalties generated by the leases of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions would be remain by the university where the resources are located, with 35 percent allocated to other state universities. The remaining 15 percent would be used for tuition assistance at 14 PASSHE schools. The bill, which has been approved by the state Senate, will now be sent to Gov. Tom Corbett (R), who is expected to sign it.
Philadelphia Inquirer (Date posted: September 26, 2012)
The University of Maine System officials said this week that the university system will freeze tuition if the state provides flat funding in the next biennial budget. Gov. Paul LePage (R) has said the system will need to improve its efficiency in operations and make other improvements in order to get his support for continued appropriations at current levels.
Bangor Daily News (Date posted: September 22, 2012)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) voiced his support this week for a four-year, fixed tuition rate policy. Under the fixed-rate system, freshman would have their tuition rate "frozen" for four years, with the fifth year going to prevailing tuition rates. Each new class of freshman, however, would likely have different tuition rates.
Austin American-Statesman (Date posted: September 21, 2012)