January 18, 2013
KY: State AG sues for-profit college
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Spencerian College, a Kentucky-based for-profit college and subsidiary of Sullivan University. Conway alleges Spencerian deceived students by misrepresenting job placement numbers. Specifically, the complaint claims the job placement rates advertised on Spencerian's website were different than numbers submitted to accrediting bodies. This is the fourth lawsuit by Conway against for-profit colleges in the last two years.
Lexington Herald-Leader (Date posted: January 16, 2013)
Budget & Finance
CA: Gov. Brown calls for changes at UC, CSU
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said this week that he hopes to use state funding strings to challenge the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) to force down their expenses, hold the line on tuition and graduate more students in a timely manner. Brown also wants UC and CSU to put more emphasis on teaching, develop more online courses and admit a greater number of students from the state's community colleges. The governor has also suggested limiting the number of units that students can take and charging more to students who accumulate more credits without graduating. In addition to a 12 to 18 percent funding increase in the coming year, Brown has proposed 4 to 5 percent funding increases for UC and CSU over the next four years if they will keep tuition costs steady during that time.
Los Angeles Times (Date posted: January 15, 2013)
IA: Governor’s budget allows for tuition freeze, little for need-based grant aid
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s (R) state budget blueprint includes a 2.6 percent funding increase for the state’s three universities, an amount state university leaders said would be necessary to freeze tuition. In addition, Iowa plans to phase out campus tuition set-aside programs, which allocate 20 percent of student tuition revenue for grants to low-income students. In place of the tuition set-aside programs will be a need-based state grant program. Higher education officials asked for $39.5 million for the grant program, but only received $5 million in the governor's budget proposal.
Iowa City Press-Citizen (Date posted: January 15, 2013)
KS: Gov. Brownback seeks flat funding for higher education
A budget plan introduced by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) this week would hold state support for higher education flat over the next two fiscal years. The budget proposal assumes less funding for infrastructure projects and does not include tuition increases.
KWCH (Date posted: January 17, 2013)
MA: Governor unveils education investment plan
This week Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) outlined a plan to invest in K-12 and higher education, with $550 million allocated for the first year of the plan and increases to nearly $1 billion annually over the next four years. The governor hopes to use $274 million for higher education in order to make college more affordable, including extra financial assistance for low-income students and expansion of job training programs at community colleges. The plan will be included in the state budget blueprint to be submitted to state lawmakers next week.
Associated Press (Date posted: January 15, 2013)
RI: Gov. Chafee seeks funding boost, greater efficiency in higher education
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s (I) released a budget plan this week with an $8.2 million funding boost for public higher education in order to prevent tuition increases. Chafee also called on colleges and universities to find $6 million in savings and efficiencies.
Examiner.com (Date posted: January 16, 2013)
AR: Campus gun legislation introduced
An Arkansas lawmaker introduced a bill this week that would allow faculty and staff at colleges and universities to carry guns on campus. The measure would not apply to private colleges and universities that disallow guns on campus.
Associated Press (Date posted: January 17, 2013)
TX: Bill would allow guns on college campuses
A Texas state lawmaker introduced legislation Thursday that would allow state residents with concealed handgun permits to carry firearms on college campuses. Similar legislation was narrowly defeated in the previous legislative session.
Amarillo Globe-News (Date posted: January 17, 2013)
CO: Democrats call for in-state tuition for undocumented students
Colorado Democrats said this week that they will push legislation to allow the state's undocumented students to apply for in-state tuition. Legislation to lower the tuition rate for the state’s undocumented students failed in previous sessions, but advocates believe they now have enough support in both legislative chambers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has voiced support for making college more affordable for undocumented students.
Denver Post (Date posted: January 15, 2013)
NY: Assembly Democrats call for state Dream Act
The Democratic majority in the New York State Assembly made a call Wednesday for comprehensive legislation that would make state financial aid available for undocumented students, including creating a private scholarship fund. The bill would include eligibility requirements, such as requiring the student to have attended a New York high school for at least two years and have graduated from high school or received a state equivalency certificate. If the bill passes, New York would be the fourth state to offer state financial aid to undocumented students. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Republicans in the state Senate have not stated their position on the legislation.
The New York Times (Date posted: January 16, 2013)
Student Aid, Access & Affordability
WA: Committee calls for discontinuing prepaid tuition program
A Washington State legislative advisory committee released a report this week calling for the state to discontinue its prepaid tuition program. The program, which is the second largest of its kind in the country, allows parents and grandparents to pay tuition bills years before the student attends college. The program has about $2 billion in assets and is underfunded by about $631 million. It remains unclear how lawmakers will proceed on the recommendations.
The Seattle Times (Date posted: January 15, 2013)
Student Success & Services
NJ: Gov. Christie signs student loan education bill
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) signed a bill this week that seeks to educate high school students on student loans before they enroll in college. The state will print and distribute materials that give examples of monthly and annual loan payments and the time it would take to repay the loan, as well as definition of key terms.
The Record (Date posted: January 14, 2013)
Regulating Online Postsecondary Education: State Issues and Options (View)
National Governors Association
This report outlines the state online postsecondary education regulatory and policy landscape, including information on state authorizing agencies, costs and accrediting requirements. It also includes regional and national efforts to improve the state authorization process.
Georgia: Recommendations of the Higher Education Funding Commission (Report) (View Website)
Higher Education Funding Commission
This report to Gov. Nathan Deal (R) outlines a series of proposed changes to the higher education finance structure in Georgia, including an outcomes-based funding approach.