Group That Shaped Federal Student-Aid Policy Is Disbanded

Lost in the news of the demise of Perkins Loans on Thursday was another death: that of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.

For nearly three decades, the committee had counseled Congress and the Education Department on student-aid issues. It played a major role in shaping federal student-aid policy, issuing reports that led to the creation and simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the development of two formulas to analyze the financial needs of lo…


Scientist Bars Countries That Let In Refugees From Using His Software

A German scientist has prohibited access to a widely used research tool he owns in European countries that he says are welcoming too many refugees, the magazine Science reports. Gangolf Jobb has pulled access to his Treefinder software, which lets researchers map species’ evolutionary ties, from scientists in Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

“Immigration to my country harms me, it harms my family, it harms my people,” Mr. Jobb wrote on his website…


In O’Bannon Case, Appeals Court Says NCAA Rules Violate Antitrust Laws

[Updated (9/30/2015, 12:04 p.m.) with more detail and analysis of the ruling.]

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the main thrust of a judge’s landmark decision last year declaring that NCAA rules violate federal antitrust law by restricting players’ ability to trade on their images. The decision also struck down part of  last year’s ruling, by Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., which would have allowed foot…


Student-Loan Default Rates Drop Again in Latest Data, U.S. Says

The percentage of borrowers who defaulted on their student loans in the past three years has dropped again, from 13.7 percent in last year’s measurement to 11.8 percent this year. According to new data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education, the default rate for students who began repayment between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012, dropped among all sectors of higher education.

Here’s a breakdown, courtesy of the department:

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 9.55.08 AM

This is the second year colleges can face pe…


Nearly a Third of Undergraduate Degrees Go to Students With Prior Credentials

Report: “New College Graduates Report, 2013-14″

Organization: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Summary: For a growing share of college graduates, the degrees they’re taking home aren’t their first higher-education credentials. The percentage of college graduates stacking credentials by adding, say, a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree, or an associate degree to a certificate, grew from 25 percent to 29 percent between 2010-11 and 2013-14, says a report released on Wednesday.


Borrowers Continue to Face Problems With Loan Servicers, Watchdog Says

Borrowers continue to report widespread problems with student-loan servicing, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The report, which is based on more than 30,000 comments that the federal watchdog received as part of its recent inquiry into the servicing industry, describes a range of practices that the bureau says harm borrowers, including poor customer service, mishandled paperwork, and “surprise fees.”

Tuesday’s report comes just two months …


Former U. of Michigan President Is Named Next Leader of AAU

Mary Sue Coleman, the former president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Iowa, will become the next president of the Association of American Universities. Ms. Coleman will succeed Hunter R. Rawlings III, who has been president since 2011, in June of next year.

“During her tenure at both Iowa and the University of Michigan, Mary Sue was universally regarded as one of the very best presidents in the country,” said Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylva…


NCAA Finds Academic Fraud in Southern Methodist U.’s Basketball Program

[Last updated (9/29/2015, 4:28 p.m.) with details from the university's statement.]

Southern Methodist University’s basketball program committed academic fraud, according to the results of an NCAA investigation announced on Tuesday.

According to the association, a former assistant men’s basketball coach told a prospective player to enroll in an online high-school course, at which point a former administrative assistant in the program logged in with the prospect’s credentials to complete all of t…


13 Academics Are Among 24 Winners of 2015 MacArthur Fellowships

Thirteen scholars associated with universities are among the 24 winners of MacArthur fellowships, announced on Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The winners each receive $625,000 grants that are paid out over five years and come with no strings attached.

According to the foundation’s website, they were chosen for their “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction,” among other things. The fellowships are…


George Washington U. Discovers That 2 Top Mental-Health Professionals Aren’t Licensed to Practice in D.C.

Two members of George Washington University’s mental-health services stepped down last week after the university discovered that neither is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.

Silvio Weisner, the program’s former director, is a licensed psychologist — but in Virginia, not Washington. He started working at George Washington in 2012, but he does not have a license to practice in the District of Columbia.

The university announced his resignation in a news release last week. The release noted M…