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Topic: higher education
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April 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Washington State University President Elson Floyd is the fourth guest in our occasional “Education Conversations” video series.
Editorial writer Lynne K. Varner asked Dr. Floyd to respond to three questions asked of every previous interviewee:
- What does education mean to you?
- What does an ideal education system look like?
- What’s one reform Washington needs now?
Dr. Floyd talked about being raised in the south as the oldest of four children. His parents never made it past middle school, so he knows firsthand the kind of doors than can be opened for students who have the opportunity to afford and pursue a higher education.
Watch the video:
“Education Conversations” is an occasional series from The Seattle Times editorial board, highlighting the latest thinking in education.
These short segments expand on our “3 to 23″ education initiative, an ongoing effort to redefine the state’s duty to educate children between the ages of 3 and 23. Watch all of our videos so far at this link.
March 14, 2013 at 7:00 AM
When college loan debt in the U.S. surpassed all other commercial debt - including credit card debt - Americans fell into the sobering new normal outlined in a report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
Currently, almost half of all college students borrow, and those who earn bachelor’s degrees leave school with an average of $26,600 in debt. Possible solutions to the crisis are found in “Doing Away With Debt: Using Existing Resources to Ensure College Affordability for Low and Middle Income Families,” a new report from the Education Trust. The report’s biggest takeaway is the need to redesign the federal financial-aid system in order to increase college completion rates, reduce student debt, and close the opportunity and degree attainment gaps.
The Washington, D.C.-based think tank also calls for a shared responsibility of college costs among the federal government, state governments, institutions of higher education, and students themselves. The goal is for low-income and working-class students to be able to afford college without loans and for middle-income students to be able to access no-interest loans and affordable, income-based repayments. Ed Trust’s president, Kati Haycock makes the case in this Huffington Post piece.
When talking about what colleges can do, Ed Trust suggests spending more of their endowment, pointing to the University of Washington’s more than $2 billion endowment of which it spends only 4% annually, according to Ed Trust. If the UW increased its endowment to 5 percent, more than $21 million would be available to help 3,445 students avoid high debt. The school is further criticized with failing to provide students with the no debt or low-debt policies offered by peer institutions, including Michigan State, UC San Diego and UC Irvine. But is that really a fair argument? (more…)