Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education? Here’s a recap of this week’s top education news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

Education inspector general wants to pull student aid from a popular online university
Washington Post
The Education Department’s Office of Inspector General wants the agency to claw back $713 million in loans and grants from Western Governors University, claiming that the limited role of faculty in courses makes the online university ineligible for federal student aid.

New research shows the number of single moms in college doubled in 12 years, so why aren’t they graduating?
Hechinger Report
The number of single mothers in college more than doubled between 2000 and 2012, but a minority of those mothers who enrolled actually graduated, according to a new report.

First-Year College Credits and Strong GPA Big Predictor of CC Student Success
Campus Technology
A deep drill into longitudinal data whose collection began in 2002 has uncovered a set of predictors that can help community colleges identify those students most likely to earn a college degree. The strongest clues: whether a student earned a strong grade point average and completed more credits during his or her first year of community college. With each one-point increase in college GPA, the probability of earning a certificate or degree increased nearly 27 percent. And for each college credit earned in the first year, the probability that students would complete a credential increased by nearly 1 percent.

Government watchdog blasts Education Department’s financial oversight of colleges
Washington Post
The closure of ITT Technical Institutes and Corinthian Colleges disrupted the education of tens of thousands of people and placed the Education Department at risk for absorbing millions of dollars in unpaid student loans. A report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office suggests the department could do more to guard against such events.

Personalized Learning a Big Challenge in High School Redesign, RAND Finds
Education Week
Personalized learning is hard. For the ed-tech community, that, again, is the takeaway from new research by the RAND Corporation. This time, the findings come from an early-stage evaluation of “Opportunity By Design” high schools, which are funded and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Purdue’s Purchase of Kaplan Gets Go-Ahead From Education Dept.
Chronicle of Higher Education
The second of three approvals necessary for Purdue University to complete its acquisition of the for-profit Kaplan University has grown likelier now that the U.S. Education Department “preliminarily concluded” that it had no objections to the deal.

In-demand graduate programs become a cash cow for colleges in financial distress
The Hechinger Report
… That reality is driving a strategy by which cash-strapped private universities and colleges are relying on the money they take in from their graduate offerings to stabilize increasingly wobbly budgets, and public institutions to make up for state cuts and undergraduate tuition freezes ordered by governors and legislatures.

EducationSuperHighway report shows broadband progress, but little room to falter
Education Dive
EducationSuperHighway’s “2017 State of States” report shows that, despite gains that have connected 94% of the nation’s school districts to the minimum 100 kbps set by the FCC, 6.5 million students still lack access to high-speed internet — especially in the 1,587 rural schools without the infrastructure to make that possible.

‘A more efficient university’: UT-Austin raises on-time graduation rate.
Washington Post
Nearly two-thirds of students who entered the University of Texas at Austin as freshmen in 2013 graduated on time, reflecting significant improvement for the state’s flagship campus amid a national push to get more students through college in four years.

Students have new ways of measuring degrees of success
Washington Post
…So the drop in enrollment at colleges nationwide can’t simply be blamed on fewer students in the pipeline. The demand for alternative types of credentials suggests another reason: Colleges might not be offering what students want and what today’s workforce needs as entire occupations expand and contract at an alarming pace.

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