college education

Waking up early on a Saturday. Sharpened No. 2 pencils and a calculator. For teenagers headed to a four-year college, taking a standardized entrance exam such as the ACT and SAT is typically a requirement. But it's far from a universal experience.

In 50 of the largest U.S. cities, examined in a new report from the University of Washington, Bothell's nonpartisan Center on Reinventing Public Education, fewer than 1 in 3 students takes either of those tests in a given year.

Tuition at the University of Washington is the highest in the state. The GET system uses a year of tuition at UW as a benchmark in pricing GET units.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Calls have doubled and emails have quadrupled to the people who run GET: the name for the state's pre-paid college savings plan.

That's because last week the plan announced that families can pull their money out without a paying a penalty. Now the question is how many families will actually take their money and leave.

Students headed for college this fall can expect a slew of new efforts aimed at preventing campus sexual assault. A federal law that took effect this summer requires schools to offer programs to help raise awareness and lower risk.

It was once a tiny niche market, but it is now an exploding industry with everything from fingernail polish that detects date-rape drugs in drinks to necklaces that hide mini panic buttons — and all kinds of crash courses on how to get and give consent.

Oregon’s state legislature outpaced most of the country this past session when lawmakers passed a tuition waiver program for two years of community college. But that’s no guarantee of “free” school.

This week Hillary Clinton released a big, complicated campaign proposal she calls the New College Compact. It's stuffed with ideas that have been brought up by other presidential candidates, both to the left and the right: free tuition (Bernie Sanders); debt-free college (Martin O'Malley); more affordable student loan repayment (Marco Rubio); and lowering costs overall (Jeb Bush).

Sweet Briar College in Virginia will close its doors in May, after 114 years of teaching women at its scenic campus in western Virginia.

All this week we've been talking about the importance of applying for financial aid, the difficulty of doing so and what can be done to make it simpler.

The Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP)

On Friday, hundreds of Latino students will visit with lawmakers in Olympia. One of their top issues relates a state-funded college scholarship. As KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, they want undocumented students to be eligible for this money, too.

UW President Michael Young Headed For Texas A&M

Feb 3, 2015
Michael Young at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As KUOW's Sara Lerner reports, President Young says he hasn't officially accepted the offer.


Michael Young says he hasn't accepted an offer but almost in the same breath, he says:

Young: "I am leaving, I believe, one of the greatest universities in the world and I believe I’m leaving it in very good hands and I believe it's on an extraordinary trajectory."

Young was speaking at a campus event Tuesday.

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

As the economy continues to recover, economists are seeing stark differences between people with high school and college degrees. The unemployment rate is nearly twice as high for Americans with a high school diploma as for those with a four-year college degree or more.

Competency-based education is in vogue — even though most people have never heard of it, and those who have can't always agree on what it is.

From Foster Care To Freshman Year

Jan 6, 2015

By the time she aged out of foster care, Jasmine Uqdah had spent nearly half her life in the system. On a summer day in 2008, Uqdah grabbed her duffel bag and two small garbage bags, and she stuffed everything she owned inside.

It wasn't much — just some clothes and a few stuffed animals. She said her goodbyes to her foster family in Detroit and moved out. She was 18 years old.

Driven by higher tuition fees and tighter state funds, America's public colleges now get more money from their students than from all state sources. That's according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, which says tuition revenue reached 25 percent of the colleges' total in 2012.

The numbers are stark, with the GAO saying that from fiscal years 2003-2012, "state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges."

Laurie Fendrich took a buyout from Hofstra University to retire when she was 66-years-old. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fendrich argues that other college professors should follow her example because remaining on faculty indefinitely is bad for students and universities.

When College Is Not For Everyone

Dec 17, 2014

There’s a disconnect between education and business, says Bill Symonds. He believes the education system is not adequately preparing young people to enter the workforce and lead successful lives.