higher education

When the Obama administration announced last year that it would overhaul the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, prospective college students (and their parents) cheered.

"Today, we're lending a hand to millions of high school students who want to go to college and who've worked hard," said Arne Duncan, who was at that time U.S. secretary of education. "We're announcing an easier, earlier FAFSA."

And it is both.

ITT Tech materials, courtesy of Waltter Teruel

Before he moved to Miami, Waltter Teruel sold antiques and life insurance in New York. Working as a recruiter at ITT Technical Institute in Hialeah was a welcome change. “I mean, if you’re a salesperson, you have to lie through your teeth,” he said, “but in this case, it’s one of the sales where you actually don’t have to lie at some point.”

Regency Beauty Institute has joined the list of for-profit school closures.

The national cosmetology school closed all 79 of its locations, including one in Tampa.

On its website, Regency cited several reasons for closing.

Cathleen Carter / WUSF

Looking back, Ronnie Wyche said it’s easy to spot the red flags: Recruiters dodged his questions, rushed him through enrollment paperwork and brushed aside concerns about being about to keep up in an engineering program after more than 30 years without taking a math class.

 

A sign on the front door said only that the school would be closed for a day after Labor Day weekend. Through closed blinds, visitors could glimpse desks still laden with paperwork in offices where the lights had been left on.

All morning, a steady stream of students pulled up out front of the Hialeah campus to see if the news was true: ITT Tech, one of the largest chains of for-profit colleges in the country, with more than 40,000 students spread across 130 campuses nationwide, was closed for good.

The fall semester has just begun on most college campuses, but tens of thousands of students in 38 states were told today that, instead, their college is closing its doors.

Higher Ed Funding, Teacher Bonuses Move Forward

Dec 4, 2015

Proposals adding performance funding for colleges and universities into law passed House and Senate committees on Thursday, but the legislation faced concerns over university standards and a House-backed plan to reward teachers for their test scores.

The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities jumped last year — in a big way. It's up 10 percent, to roughly 975,000, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education and backed by the State Department.

In 2014-15, China was still the largest source of students with 31 percent of the total. India was in second place with nearly 14 percent. And Indian students were a big reason for the overall jump.

Florida Keys Community College

Florida Keys Community College, the only post-secondary education institution based in the island chain, is adding two new associate's degree programs, in Hospitality and Ecotourism Management and in Culinary Management.

The goal is to prepare students to work in the area's dominant industry: tourism — and take advantage of that industry for internships and expertise.  

More than 80 colleges are creating a website where students will be able to apply to dozens of them and get help along the way.

alpima / Flickr

Know the joke about how many college students it takes to screw in a light bulb?

Probably not, since it’s not a real joke. Nor is the decision some comedians are making to avoid college campuses where they say students today are too easily offended.

Back in June, comedian Jerry Seinfeld told ESPN radio that he was joining Chris Rock, Larry the Cable Guy and others who won’t play college campuses because they’ve become too politically correct.

Screen shot / U.S. Department of Education

Lots of schools promise to train students to be nurses, technicians or for other in-demand medical careers. But a new federal database shows that isn’t always the case.

At some schools,  only a small percentage of students who attend using federal grants or loans earn more than a high school graduate a decade after enrolling in college.

The data links students who received federal financial aid to what they reported earning on their tax forms a decade later.

Pike Architects / Florida Keys Community College

Florida Keys Community College is based in Key West, at the end of the island chain. That's where it has its campus, including classrooms, library, dormitories and administration.

For decades, the college has offered classes in the Middle and Upper Keys through "centers" that collaborate with other institutions like the Monroe County School District.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott's budget veto list broke records Tuesday, and education projects weren't spared despite Scott's emphasis on K-12 funding this year.

In total, Scott vetoed $461.4 million from the now $78.7 billion spending plan. Scott signed the plan in private Tuesday and the budget takes effect July 1.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ashley Jean is graduating from Miami’s iPrep Academy this week. And then she’s planning to travel the world.

Jean will start a global studies program through Long Island University that will eventually take her to places like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Spain.

That’s a lot of plane tickets.

“I don’t want money to be a reason why I can’t change my life,” Jean says, “so I have to work hard to do what I can to get this program.”

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