Higher education

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Listen live on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 9:00 am.

A recent New York Times op-ed draws attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

The University of Rhode Island has won $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to launch a graduate center focused on science writing.

The program will include workshops and classes to train students in the sciences  to write more clearly and persuasively. University officials said the program is part of a trend on college campuses, as researchers increasingly recognize the importance of communicating beyond academia.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A few miles down the road from the University of Connecticut campus in Mansfield, Connecticut, an abandoned prison sits empty. It's shrouded from public view by a fence of vines and razor wire. 

A new study challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home. The report was co-authored by Dartmouth Sociology Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger. It’s published by Third Way, which describes itself as a centrist think tank.

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy

The outgoing chief of staff for Governor Dannel Malloy will soon lead the state's Board of Regents for Higher Education. Mark Ojakian will officially start as interim president on September 28, taking over for Gregory Gray, who announced his resignation earlier this month.

Student loans have become an issue in the presidential campaign, especially on the Democratic side. And it's no wonder. There are more than 40 million Americans with some $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

But people who study education finance say one widely popular proposal to help lessen the debt load may not be as good as it seems.

The first problem: the debt load

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Officials in Sierra Leone are continuing to abuse aid money sent there to combat Ebola, according to audit reports and a Quinnipiac University political science professor who just returned home from a trip there. 

State Farm/flickr creative commons

In Connecticut and across the nation, students of all ages can now enroll in college courses online for free, and receive credit for them in many places. How can universities afford to do this?

Chion Wolf

A Central Connecticut State University professor is suspended after the latest in a string of arrests. Ravi Shankar, a poetry professor, was arrested for third-degree larceny after attempting to return unpaid merchandise for store credit at a Middletown Home Depot.

Yuri Samoilov / Creative Commons

University of Connecticut officials said a data breach discovered in March at the School of Engineering was criminal in nature.

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

Saying that an article on campus rape that was later retracted hurt their reputations and subjected them to needless humiliation, three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have sued Rolling Stone, its publisher and the reporter who wrote the story.

It's an old and controversial question: Should federal Pell grants be used to help prisoners pay for college?

Tomorrow, at a prison in Jessup, Md., Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are expected to unveil a program to do just that. The new plan would create a limited pilot program allowing some students in prison to use Pell grants to pay for college classes.

The key word there is "limited" — because there's only so much the administration can do. To understand why, we have to go back to November 1993.

Wasted Time R / Creative Commons

Quinnipiac University has filed a lawsuit against the town of Hamden in a zoning violation dispute. The move follows a zoning board decision to deny the university’s appeal of a recent finding that the school violated a zoning deal for its York Hill dormitory project.

Martin Meehan began his tenure as president of the University of Massachusetts Wednesday by a holding a roundtable discussion with students at UMass Boston.

Meehan said he intends to build UMass into “the best public university system in the nation.”  During an interview in May he talked about ways to elevate the university’s stature.

"It is looking at how to improve, achieve more excellence. You can always increase your research and continue to improve," he said.

George Chochos

Back in 1990, there were more than 300 college-in-prison programs in the U.S. By 1997, the number was down to less than ten -- eliminated as part of the nation’s movement to get "tough on crime." 

ct.edu

The state Board of Regents approved a program that will allow community college students to earn an associate degree while pursuing their bachelor's degree after transferring into a Connecticut state college or university.

It's called the reverse transfer program. 

The University of Massachusetts is forging stronger ties with Springfield.  A new partnership in education based in Springfield is aimed at improving health care in urban and rural areas of western Massachusetts.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester will open a campus in 2017 at Baystate Health’s flagship medical center in Springfield.  This will be the first regional campus for the state’s only public medical school. By placing it in western Massachusetts, officials hope to begin to address a severe shortage of physicians in the region.

Smaley / Creative Commons

Connecticut's college financing authority says it's offering a lower fixed rate on supplemental student loans following the recent passage of a bill aimed at addressing student debt.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut House Speaker Brendan Sharkey called for new leadership at Quinnipiac University this week, citing problems caused by students living in residential neighborhoods.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Jennifer Necci is trying to get seventh graders to tell her how well they think they’re writing about a book they’ve read.  

Brown University ranks among the top 10 universities whose undergraduates go on to win the prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant, according to new data from the MacArthur Foundation.

It's one of the biggest challenges in higher education today: What do you do with the nearly one in five working-age adults who have some college experience, but no degree?

Sokeo Ros was one of them. "I just hated" community college, he says. "I wasn't being challenged."

Ros, 34, was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. He dropped out of two colleges, switching majors several times.

Sean MacEntee/flickr creative commons

In Connecticut and across the nation, students of all ages can now enroll in college courses online for free, and receive credit for them in many places. How can universities afford to do this?

Rick Ciaburri / Wesleyan University

Award-winning composer and lyricist Lin Manuel Miranda addressed college graduates on Sunday as the keynote speaker at Wesleyan University's commencement.

What Can We Do About Student Debt in Connecticut?

May 26, 2015
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The federal reserve has calculated the amount of American student loan debt is over $1 trillion, greater than car loan and credit card debt. Lawmakers are trying to provide relief for students.

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A bill that requires all Connecticut colleges to establish "affirmed consent" as the threshold for determining whether sexual activity is consensual is moving through the General Assembly.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

For more than a decade, the state has invested heavily in downtown Hartford -- hoping an influx of public money would inspire more private investment. Now, officials say a plan for a new UConn campus is the next step in that process. 

Marc Nozell / Creative Commons

Commencements were held at colleges and universities across the state this weekend. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy unveiled federal legislation on Friday that would help streamline the college credit transfer process.

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