Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


What You Need to Know About This Week’s Student-Loan Default Rates

The U.S. Department of Education is scheduled to release this week its annual cohort default rates, which describe what percentage of borrowers are defaulting on their student loans. The data were due to be released to colleges on Monday and to the public in the middle of the week. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s new this year?

There is one big change. This is the first year colleges will be judged on a three-year default rate, measuring whether borrowers who began repaying their loans betw…


Celebrity Support Dominates Kickoff of White House Sexual-Assault Campaign

The White House unveiled its “It’s On Us” sexual-assault awareness campaign on Friday morning, calling on all college students—and especially men—to do their part to stop rapes on campuses. The effort, which relies in part on the power of peer pressure, has already attracted vocal support in the way that only a White House campaign can.

President Obama set the tone on Friday with strong language on the issue. “Campus sexual assault is no longer something we as a nation can turn away from and say…


Education Dept. Imposes Financial Restrictions on ITT

The U.S. Education Department has placed financial restrictions on ITT Educational Services Inc., citing the company’s failure to submit financial statements by a mandatory deadline.

The for-profit education provider disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that the department had put it on “heightened cash monitoring” status, which restricts how it can receive student-aid funds. ITT warned investors in July that it might face financial restrictions over its …


College Presidents Have Authority to Reform Athletics, 3 U.S. Senators Say

Three Democratic U.S. senators sent letters on Thursday to the presidents of the colleges that make up the five major athletic conferences, asking them to complete a survey about the experiences of athletes at their institutions, CBS Sports reports.

Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote that they had become “increasingly frustrated with the lack of meaningful progress by the NCAA and its member institutions.” The survey features 21 qu…


5 Jaw-Dropping Allegations in the Federal Lawsuit Against Corinthian

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday filed suit against Corinthian Colleges, alleging that the for-profit higher-education provider, which is in the process of selling or closing all of its campuses, engaged in deceptive lending and recruiting practices in recent years, in violation of federal law.

Many of the lawsuit’s allegations are astounding. Here are five:

1. To bolster its job-placement statistics, employees at one of the company’s Everest College locations created fake emp…


Lawmakers Barred From Interviews in Admissions Investigation at U. of Texas

The University of Texas’ Board of Regents voted on Monday to bar state legislators from attending interviews conducted as part of an independent investigation into admissions practices on the Austin campus, The Texas Tribune reports.

Two lawmakers last week said they would attend the hearings, which are being held to determine whether political favoritism has played a role in the flagship campus’s admissions process. The system’s departing chancellor, Francisco G. Cigarroa, ordered the investiga…


State Senator Meets a Tough Crowd as He Vies for Top Job at Florida State U.

A Florida state senator who is seeking to become president of Florida State University had a tense day of meet-and-greet at the Tallahassee campus on Monday, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

John E. Thrasher, one of the most influential politicians in the state and one of four finalists to lead Florida State, got a hostile reception from some students and faculty members in a daylong interview conducted as part of the search.

Mr. Thrasher was asked in his session with faculty members if he beli…


White House to Recruit College Men for Campaign Against Sexual Assault

The White House will announce on Friday a nationwide effort to curb sexual assault on college campuses by encouraging men to intervene in cases of sexual violence, the Associated Press reports.

The program, called “It’s On Us,” will attempt to frame sexual assaults as the responsibility of all college students—but especially men—to prevent. It embraces a prominent tactic in the fight against campus rape: bystander intervention.

In January, President Obama promised a “coordinated federal response”…


Ohio State to Revise Policies on Harassment After U.S. Finds It Violated Title IX

Ohio State University has agreed to revise its policies after the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found the institution to be in violation of the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX, the department announced on Thursday.

The department’s office, known as OCR, began a review in 2010 to determine whether the university had responded properly to complaints of sexual harassment and assault. During the course of that review, Ohio State investigated allegations of sexu…


Panel Will Guide Expansion of Education Dept.’s Debt-Relief Program

The U.S. Department of Education announced plans on Tuesday to establish a negotiated rule-making panel charged with hashing out how to expand the income-based student-loan repayment program. In a notice to be published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, the department specifies that a panel of negotiators will meet in February 2015 for as many as three sessions.

President Obama announced plans in June to extend the Pay as You Earn benefit to people with older loans. The program caps participants’…