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.

How Many Schools Offer Online-Only Classes? New Data Provide an Answer
Education Week
Twenty-one percent of U.S. schools offer courses that are entirely online, without any brick-and-mortar activities, and charter schools are much more likely than traditional schools to offer such courses, according to new federal data.

The hidden cost of college: rising student fees
Washington Post
…During their college search, many prospective students tend to pay attention to tuition. But in the last decade, fees have started to make up a larger share of the overall bill, particularly at public campuses. Since 2000, student fees have actually grown faster than tuition in percentage terms.

Military Victory for Alternative Providers
Inside Higher Ed
Last week President Trump signed into law a significant expansion of veterans’ higher education benefits. The legislation, which has been dubbed the Forever GI Bill, received bipartisan support

Most Faculty Say Technology Has Made Their Jobs Easier
Campus Technology
In a survey of faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States, 73 percent of respondents said technology has made their jobs “easier” or “much easier.” And nary a one considered their job “much harder” thanks to tech.

Free college keeps growing as Arkansas, Indiana, Montana and Rhode Island join in
Think “free” tuition sounds unrealistic? It’s already a reality in more than 20 states. Earlier this year, Arkansas, Indiana, Montana and Rhode Island introduced statewide free community-college programs. Other states, including Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee, already have programs, and 13 more introduced legislation this year to start similar initiatives, according to Dustin Weeden, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

One Trick For Keeping Kids In College: Forgive Tiny Debts That Force Them To Leave
Fast Company
…One alarming trend: Despite receiving financial aid, roughly 4,000 seniors who have good grades may quit school because of small outstanding scholastic debt. The sums are often less than $1,000–but in many cases, such balances make them unable to register for their next batch of classes.

Majority of U.S. Minorities Regret a Key Education Decision
About half of U.S. adults express some regret when reflecting on their education experiences, but racial and ethnic minorities groups are slightly more likely than whites to regret at least one of three key education decisions. — their degree, the institution they attended or their field of study. The relatively higher percentage of blacks, Asians and Hispanics who regret their choice of school is driving these overall differences.

Older cadets at Air Force Academy are a sign of the times in higher education
Hechinger Report
About one in 10 of this year’s entering Air Force Academy cadets is older than the traditional age, the academy reports — often returning to school after years of military service, as in Callan’s case. That’s up from about one in 12 four years ago. It’s an unusual example of a broader trend in higher education, in which the proportion of students who are over 24 has increased from 28 percent in 1970 to about 42 percent today, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

15-Credit Course Loads Increase Odds of Graduation
Inside Higher Ed
Incoming college students who average at least 15 credits per term during their first year are more likely to stick around and graduate and also get better grades, according to a new analysis from EAB, a research firm.

Could ditching devices in the classroom improve test scores?
A study of more than 700 students at the United States Military Academy (West Point) found the use of technology in the classroom may be more of distraction than an aid to learning and comprehension.

Challenging the ‘Productivity Paradox’
Inside Higher Ed
A recent study in The Journal of Higher Education has found that investments in technology do indeed appear to lead to increases in productivity for institutions — but not for all institutions in the same way.

Private Schools First, Public Schools Last in K-12 Ratings
As another school year begins, Americans believe private schools provide students with the best K-12 education of five different types of schools in the U.S. The 71% who rate the quality of private school education as excellent or good exceeds the ratings for parochial, charter, home and public schooling, in that order.

A Lost Decade in Higher Education Funding State Cuts Have Driven Up Tuition and Reduced Quality
A decade since the Great Recession hit, state spending on public colleges and universities remains well below historic levels, despite recent increases. Overall state funding for public two- and four-year colleges in the 2017 school year (that is, the school year ending in 2017) was nearly $9 billion below its 2008 level, after adjusting for inflation.

‘You can do this’: Program gives students advice and funding to get through college
Washington Post
DC-CAP, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works with all of the city’s public and public charter high schools. Its advisers help students apply for — and stick with — higher education opportunities.

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