December 7, 2012
Budget & Finance
ND: Gov. Dalrymble seeks new funding formula for higher education
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple's (R) state budget blueprint includes $21 million to implement changes to the state's higher education funding formula. The new formula will include data on the number of courses students finish, the types of courses they take and the building space on each campus. The numbers will then be adjusted to even out differences between small and large campuses and the cost of offering specific courses. The governor's goal is to compare institutional costs of educating students and use the information to determine the right level of state support for each institution.
The Jamestown Sun (Date posted: December 7, 2012)
OH: Gov. Kasich praises performance-based funding recommendations
Last week Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) praised a report (listed below) put forth by the Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission recommending half of state funding for public colleges and universities be based on completion. Kasich said he will use the new approach to distribute $1.75 billion in state funding in the upcoming state budget proposal. If implemented, the new funding structure would make Ohio a national leader in performance-based funding.
Dayton Daily News (Date posted: November 30, 2012)
CO: Performance goals adopted
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has adopted a master plan (listed below) that includes five-year performance contracts for each public higher education institution in the state. The contracts require schools to meet goals in four areas: increased graduation rates, improvement of academic remediation programs, increased enrollment and graduation among minority students and development of programs to keep college affordable as enrollment increases.
The Denver Post (Date posted: December 7, 2012)
OR: Governor proposes new postsecondary education agency
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's (D) state budget proposal includes a new state agency to control funding for the state's seven universities, 17 community colleges, need-based college scholarships and the Oregon Health and Science University. The goal is to have a single body decide how to distribute higher education dollars in the most efficient manner, including basing funding on student retention, graduation and graduates employed in high-paying, high-demand fields. The governor's budget plan also includes the first increase for public higher education funding for Oregon's public colleges and universities in six years.
The Oregonian (Date posted: November 30, 2012)
Student Aid, Access & Affordability
AL: New need-based state scholarship announced
Last week Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer (R) unveiled a new, need-based state scholarship program, the CollegeCounts Scholarship. The new program is aimed at students who have financial need but are not eligible for scholarships that go to top performers on standardized tests. The new scholarship will provide a one-time award of $4,000 to qualified students attending four-year colleges and $2,000 for students attending community colleges. Unlike most scholarships, the program's eligibility requirements include a maximum ACT score. Program funding will comes from administrative fees from the CollegeCounts 529 Fund and surplus funds from the Alabama Higher Education Loan Corporation.
AL.com (Date posted: November 27, 2012)
AZ: Universities unveil “AZ Earn to Learn” scholarship
Arizona’s three state universities have partnered with a state nonprofit organization to launch AZ Earn to Learn, a need-based financial aid program. The program pairs $3.1 million in scholarships with 700 students from low-income backgrounds. To be eligible, students must earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, save $25 per month in a special account for a minimum of six months after enrolling in the program, complete financial education classes and receive one-on-one financial coaching and college readiness training. Eligible students will then qualify to receive $8 for every $1 they save for a maximum scholarship of $4,000. The program received a $1.55 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and matching funds from the universities.
KVOA (Date posted: December 4, 2012)
WI: Commission calls for increase college aid in upcoming budget
This week a coalition of Wisconsin public, private, technical and tribal colleges and universities endorsed a report (listed below) from the Commission on Financial Aid Consolidation and Modernization calling for boosting college aid funding in the upcoming state budget. According to the report, more than 76,000 eligible college students did not received need-based grants in 2011-12 due to inadequate state funding. In addition, many students had financial need, but were not eligible for state grants. The commission was established by the state legislature to study the potential for consolidating all grant programs administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board into a single, comprehensive need-based grant program. The commission was also charged with exploring options for providing grant aid for part-time students attending Wisconsin schools.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Date posted: December 4, 2012)
Tuition and Fees
FL: Gov. Scott issues $10K degree challenge
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) issued a challenge last week to the state's community colleges to create bachelor's degree programs with a price of $10,000 or less. A number of community colleges have already taken up the governor's challenge. Currently, the average tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree at a Florida community college is $13,264.
Orlando Sentinel (Date posted: November 27, 2012)
FL: Op-ed: $10K degree a "populist gimmick"
Daniel J. Hurley of the American Association of State Colleges and universities wrote an op-ed in USA Today last week calling Florida Gov. Rick Scott's $10,000 degree challenge a "populist gimmick" and urged Florida leaders to keep college affordable by reinvesting in public higher education. According to the op-ed, Florida led the nation this year in cutting funding to its universities and has reduced funding at a rate four times the national average over the past five years. Hurley also called on universities to continue to innovate in instructional delivery to drive costs down and improve student learning outcomes.
USA Today (Date posted: December 2, 2012)
IA: Regents vote to freeze tuition
The Iowa Board of Regents voted Wednesday to freeze undergraduate, in-state tuition rates at the state's three universities. If implemented, this would mark the first such tuition freeze in 30 years. However, the move depends on campuses receiving a 2.6 percent funding increase from the state legislature.
Des Moines Register (Date posted: December 5, 2012)
NH: Universities offer tuition freeze for funding restoration
New Hampshire's public college and university officials told state lawmakers last week that restoring $100 million in funding to the university system would allow campuses to freeze tuition. In the last two-year budget, public funding for in-state students in New Hampshire was cut by nearly 50 percent.
Union Leader (Date posted: November 26, 2012)
NV: Board approves excessive credit fee
Last week the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) approved a per-credit fee for students if they exceed a certain amount of class credits. The policy is designed to encourage students to graduate in a timely manner. The fee will be applied to students in the state’s public colleges and universities if they take over 150 percent of the credits required for their major. According to the Board of Regents, about 10 percent of NSHE students seeking bachelor's degrees went over 180 credits in the 2010-11 academic year and would have to pay the fee. The excess fee will amount to 50 percent of per-credit registration fees.
The Rebel Yell (Date posted: December 3, 2012)
Tracking Momentum: Performance Funding (View Report)
The December 2012 edition of Tracking Momentum examines the latest state activity around performance funding in higher education.
New Approaches to the New Normal: Recapping 2012 Higher Education Legislative Activity in the West (View Report)
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
This policy brief summarizes state legislative activity pertaining to higher education in western states.
Colorado: Colorado Competes: A Completion Agenda for Higher Education (View Report)
Colorado Commission on Higher Education
This report is the state's new master plan for higher education. It includes four performance goals.
Ohio: Recommendations of the Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission (View Report) (Fact Sheet)
Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission
This report offers a series of recommendations to reform Ohio's higher education funding system, including an emphasis on institutional outcomes.
Texas: College “Credit”: Reducing Unmanageable Student Debt and Maximizing Return on Education (View Report)
University of Texas System
This report assesses the current state of student debt and offers recommendations for the University of Texas System and the rest of the state and the nation for minimizing the amount of student debt upon graduation.
Wisconsin: Report of the 2012 Commission on Financial Aid Consolidation and Modernization (View Report)
State of Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board (HEAB)
This report offers 12 recommendations for improving student financial aid in Wisconsin.