Sep 06, 2007
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Thursday, September 6 , 2007
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Study Finds More Preparation Needed for Transition from High School to College

By Surajit Sen Sharma

A recent study conducted by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) found that the first semester of college is a pivotal period in students' academic careers. The study, titled "Beyond Access: How the First Semester Matters for Community College Students' Aspirations and Persistence," followed first-time students enrolled in California community colleges aged 17 to 20 in the fall of 1998. The study, based on system data gathered over a six-year period, tracked graduation and retention rates of first-year students to arrive at its findings. The findings of the study suggest that it is most important to focus on preparing high school students for college and that simply increasing college access doesn't solve the problems faced in building a more educated population and workforce.

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The College Board Will No Longer Serve as FFELP Lender

By Nihit Aurora

The College Board was founded in 1900 as a not-for-profit association aiming to "connect students to college success and opportunity." Currently, the association includes more than 5,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions. It serves nearly 7 million students and their parents through a range of education-related programs and services. More than 23,000 high schools and 3,500 universities benefit every year from its efforts.

The College Board is a lender for the federal government's Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). It has contracted with Sallie Mae and Citibank to initiate, service, and purchase FFELP student loans. This business formed a very small part of the board's diverse portfolio of programs and services.

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Federal student loan organizations call for revision of student loan reconciliation bills

Four federal student loan organizations wrote a letter to Education Committee chairmen and ranking Republican members in both houses urging them to reconsider subsidy cuts proposed in upcoming student loan reconciliation bills and to abandon their plans for a pilot student loan auction. The Consumer Bankers Association, Education Finance Council, National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, and Student Loan Servicing Alliance signed the letter, which states that if the current bills are signed into law, "[b]orrowers will likely lose many, and in some cases all, of the borrower benefits currently offered by lenders." The bills, which have passed through the U.S. House and Senate, propose cutting more than $17 billion in subsidies to lenders and guarantors participating in the FFEL Program.

Montana senator proposes free college tuition

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has proposed legislation that would offer full scholarships to all high school graduates planning to major in math, engineering, science, or technology in college. As part of a new $25 billion education incentives package, the legislation, according to Baucus, will make the United States more globally competitive, especially with China and India. The bill also includes assistance for rural teachers, scholarships for future math and science teachers, and additional funding for pre-kindergarten programs. Baucus's program would apply to all universities, but in order to be eligible, students would have to work or teach in a related field for at least four years after graduation.

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