Institutions are attempting to enroll the 36 million adults who have left colleges without earning a degree so they can bolster enrollment. In states with programs specifically focused on adult learner enrollment, institutions are finding that these students need additional support throughout their time in college. Sixty-seven “promise” programs exist to offer tuition assistance to adult learners. In addition, schools are recognizing these efforts to re-enroll adult learners are also bolstering equity.
A growing number of states are requiring high school students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to graduate. Last year $3.75 billion in Pell Grants went unclaimed as half of high school graduates did not file a FAFSA. The states requiring FAFSA completion are hoping to “help students take advantage of unclaimed financial aid and nudge some who otherwise may not have considered college to enroll.” Some states have shied away from mandates out of concern that completing a FAFSA is an undue burden on students and families and instead have turned to grants and other incentives. FAFSA completion rates do appear to be on the rise in states with mandates, but experts caution that more data is needed to see if requiring the FAFSA has a correlating increase in students enrolling in colleges.
1.36 billion: the funding for Perkins V in the 2023 Biden administration budget - a decrease from the 2022 funding levels
Twenty-two historically and predominantly Black community colleges have created a new network focused on developing new initiatives to improve their students’ career and economic prospects. The institutions will share resources, expertise and technical assistance as they work to eliminate age and racial gaps in educational outcomes. Approximately 13% of Black college students attend community college.
According to new research by the General Accounting Office, lack of funding and dated perceptions of skilled trade and technical careers continue to hamper attempts to develop and expand CTE programs both in the high school and college setting. The GAO report highlights promising practices including initiatives across federal agencies to include workforce development in programs. In addition, the report noted efforts to encourage women and underrepresented populations.
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April 8, 2022