Higher Education News

Duke U. Lays Claim to $10 Million From Oilman’s Estate

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 12:12pm
The university filed probate-court papers on Tuesday seeking more than $9.9 million in what it says were unfunded pledges made by the oil and gas magnate Aubrey McClendon before his death, in March, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Categories: Higher Education News

Meet the Sex Shops in Austin, Tex., That Put the Cocks in ‘Cocks Not Glocks’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:35am
The University of Texas flagship prohibits dildos but, thanks to the state’s new campus-carry law, allows guns. Students are protesting, and local proprietors are lending a hand.
Categories: Higher Education News

You Don’t Know Your Students. This Professor Hopes to Change That.

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 11:00am
Michael Wesch, an associate professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, joins his students for an unusual tour of their lives beyond the classroom.
Categories: Higher Education News

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
This fall Chad A. Goldberg will teach students the significance of the "Wisconsin Idea," a longstanding principle in the state-university system’s mission statement that was almost overturned last year by the governor.
Categories: Higher Education News

NYU’s Graduate Union: Success Story or Cautionary Tale?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 24, 2016 - 2:55am
The NLRB’s ruling on Tuesday, that graduate students are employees, prompts a look back at the labor-union battle that started it all.
Categories: Higher Education News

Ruling Pushes Door to Grad-Student Unions ‘Wide Open’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:01pm
The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in a case involving Columbia University has made clear that graduate-employee unions are legal at private colleges. Experts predict a surge in organizing similar to what has taken place among adjuncts.
Categories: Higher Education News

Will the NLRB's Columbia Ruling Tarnish the 'College Experience'? A Closer Look

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 12:41pm
The National Labor Relations Board's lone dissenter said a host of unwelcome behaviors were likely to take hold at private colleges. The other members largely dismissed that concern.
Categories: Higher Education News

Out to 'Impress' a Woman, U. of Pittsburgh Student Instead Needs to Be Rescued

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 11:18am
"The young man met a girl, brought her up to a rooftop, and decided to impress her by leaping from one roof to the next," a city spokeswoman said. He ended up stuck beside a Qdoba restaurant.
Categories: Higher Education News

In Victory for Union Efforts, NLRB Rules Columbia U. Grad Students Are Employees

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:38am
The National Labor Relations Board's 3-to-1 decision reverses a 2004 ruling involving Brown University. That decision barred graduate students at private colleges from unionizing.
Categories: Higher Education News

Stanford Bans Hard Liquor From Undergraduate Parties

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 10:37am
The university's students and faculty and staff members have been talking about its troubling alcohol culture since March.
Categories: Higher Education News

Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 23, 2016 - 7:00am

Back to school time can be a hectic time for both you and the kiddos. These are some of our best back to school tips to help ensure this school year gets off to a great start!



Walk or ride the route your child will take and make note of school patrols, crossing guards and high traffic areas along the way. Talk to your kids about NOT talking to strangers and find out what, if any, policies your child’s school has regarding early arrivals or late pick-ups. Learn about the school’s entrance and exit policies. Then, if you can, pop in and check out what the inside of the school looks like.


Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and ask him or her about the preferred method of communication. (Some teachers are active on email and social media, while others prefer the phone or in-person meetings.)


Make homework time a daily habit. Find a quiet and consistent place at home where your child can complete his or her homework. If your child is having difficulty with his or her homework, make an appointment with the teacher sooner rather than later.

Set up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Remove distractions. Make it clear that education is a top priority in your family: show interest and praise your child’s work.

Limit the time that you let your child watch TV, and when you do decide to do TV time, make it a family affair. Talk together about what you see and ask questions after the show ends.

During the summer, children aren’t always on a schedule, which is understandable. But, proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep-wise by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier at least a week in advance of when school actually starts.


Let’s face it – no one can concentrate when they’re hungry. Studies show that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches do better in school. Fix nutritious meals at home, and, if you need extra help, find out if your family qualifies for any child nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch Program.


It’s a good idea to take your child in for a physical and an eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations, and you may be asked to provide paperwork showing that your child has all the necessary shots and vaccines. So, check your state’s immunization requirements. And, always keep your own copies of any medical records.

Make a plan to read with your child for 20 minutes every day. Your example reinforces the importance of literacy, and reading lets you and your child explore new worlds of fun and adventure together.

Dorothy Amatucci is a Digital Engagement Strategist at the U.S. Department of Education.

The post Parents: 9 Back to School Pro Tips appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

What It’s Like to Be Interim President — Again

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 2:56am
The current interim leaders of Baylor, Cornell, and Temple are all in their second go-round in that job on their campuses. Here’s a look at some of the challenges they face.
Categories: Higher Education News

What Will College Be Like for a Transgender Student in North Carolina?

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 2:55am
The recipient of a prestigious scholarship talks about how he will navigate his freshman year after the passage of the state’s controversial "bathroom bill."
Categories: Higher Education News

A New Academic Year Brings Fresh Anxiety at Illinois’s Public Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 23, 2016 - 2:55am
A state-budget stalemate means the colleges haven’t seen permanent funding in over a year. Administrators now wonder if the crisis will reverberate for years to come.
Categories: Higher Education News

Judge Rejects Texas Professors' Bid for Injunction to Block Guns From Classrooms

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 22, 2016 - 5:34pm
Monday's ruling means that people licensed to carry concealed firearms will be able to bring them to campus when fall classes start, on Wednesday.
Categories: Higher Education News

Mexico's President Is Said to Have Plagiarized Law Thesis

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 22, 2016 - 12:46pm
An investigative reporter found that Enrique Peña Nieto had copied about a third of the thesis.
Categories: Higher Education News

U.S. Acts Against Wells Fargo Bank for Illegal Student-Loan Practices

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 22, 2016 - 12:35pm
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that the bank had charged borrowers illicit fees and didn't give customers proper information on their payments.
Categories: Higher Education News

Get Rewarded for your Public Service Work with Loan Forgiveness

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 22, 2016 - 11:00am

If you work in public service, you already know that feeling of self-fulfillment that comes from helping others, but you might not realize a potential added benefit of your public service work: federal student loan forgiveness.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. I know what you’re thinking … “qualifying” is used a lot of times in that sentence. How would you possibly know if you qualify? You don’t have to guess; there’s an easy way to determine your eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Submit an Employment Certification Form (sometimes called an ECF).

 1. What’s an ECF and why should I submit it?

An ECF is a form that you can complete and submit to keep track of your progress toward loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. It requires you to provide some basic information about you (the borrower) and your employer. Both you and your employer are required to certify that the information on your ECF is true, complete, and correct. Once you submit your form, the PSLF servicer will determine if your loans are eligible for PSLF and if your employer qualifies.  Qualifying public service employment can include government work, teaching in a public school, or working at a non-profit organization.

If you think you might qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, there is NO reason not to submit an ECF. It only takes a few minutes of your time but could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you qualify. There is no cost to complete the form and it will give you peace of mind when you know where you stand when it comes to forgiveness.

2. When should I complete an ECF?

If you work in public service and are repaying federal student loans, you should complete an ECF right away to confirm that you are making progress toward loan forgiveness.

After your first successful ECF submission, the Department strongly recommends that you submit an ECF every year or every time you change jobs to ensure your employment qualifies under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  Your servicer will also provide you with an updated count of your qualifying payments each time you’ve submitted an approved ECF.

Let me be clear: This is not a one and done.  You must provide documentation that you are employed by a qualifying employer (or employers) for a total of 120 months while making timely payments on an eligible repayment plan to qualify for forgiveness.  That means you’ll need to submit an ECF for every qualifying job you work at, to cover that entire period of time.  And an ECF is not the same as your annual income recertification if you are enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan; it’s a completely different certification that serves a completely different purpose.

By regularly submitting ECFs, you’ll know exactly how much progress you’ve made toward loan forgiveness. Don’t wait until the end of those 120 months and find out too late that you weren’t meeting all of the necessary requirements.

3. How do I complete an ECF?

Download this form. It’s a fillable PDF.  Once you complete your information, print it out, sign it, and get your employer to sign it.

Then, you have three options:

  • E-mail it to: AccountInfo@MyFedLoan.org.
  • Fax it to: 717-720-1628
  • Snail mail it to:
    U.S. Department of Education
    FedLoan Servicing
    P.O. Box 69184
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Note: If FedLoan Servicing is already your federal student loan servicer, you can also upload your ECF through their online portal.

Watch out for these common mistakes when you’re filling out the form:

1. Complete the entire form. Forms that are missing information or are incomplete account for almost half of the forms that get rejected. You must complete every field; if you need help completing the form, call 855-265-4038.

2. Get the proper signatures. If you AND your employer don’t sign the form, the PSLF servicer cannot assess your eligibility and your form will be denied.

3. Write clearly or better yet, type your information into the online form. If the servicer can’t read what you wrote, they won’t be able to properly determine your eligibility. When you download the form, type in your personal and employer information and then print it out to get the signatures. You don’t want to miss out on forgiveness due to something as silly as poor penmanship.

4. What happens after I complete an ECF?

After you send your completed ECF, our Public Service Loan Forgiveness servicer, FedLoan Servicing will review your form to determine if (1) your loans are eligible for PSLF; and (2) your employer counts as a qualifying employer.

This assessment usually takes 5-7days. If you don’t meet these requirements, you will be notified that your ECF has been denied due to ineligible loans, ineligible employment, or a combination of these reasons. But if your loans and employer qualify, you will be notified that your ECF has been approved, and your federal loan account will be transferred to FedLoan Servicing (if your loans are not already serviced by FedLoan Servicing).

I want to emphasize that the terms and conditions of your loan(s) will not change when your loan(s) is transferred.  This is a common concern from borrowers, so let me say it again: Your interest rate will remain the same and your payment amount will remain the same (unless you change your repayment plan).

Within approximately 7-10 business days of receiving notification that your ECF was approved, you should expect to receive notification from your current servicer (if it’s not already FedLoan) that your account will be transferred and then soon after, you will receive notification from FedLoan Servicing that they have received and are now servicing your account.

Next, FedLoan will take a look at the time period of qualifying employment certified on your approved ECF(s) and count the number of payments you’ve made during that time that count toward student loan forgiveness under PSLF.  This part of the process could take a while, particularly if it’s the first time you submitted an approved ECF, if your ECF verified your employment for a long period of time, or if FedLoan needs to review payments you’ve made prior to 2010.

Remember, you must make 120 on-time (i.e. no more than 15 days after your due date) payments before being eligible to have the remainder of your loan balance forgiven.  Once your payments are counted, FedLoan will report the number of qualifying payments you’ve made on your billing statements.  They will also counsel you to get on a repayment plan that will allow you to benefit the most from PSLF (i.e. an income-driven repayment plan) and remind you to submit an ECF at least once a year.

5. If I haven’t already submitted an ECF, does it mean I won’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

No, it’s not too late for qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  In fact, no one will be eligible for forgiveness until October 2017.  But, that doesn’t mean you should wait until next year to take action.

There are lots of caveats associated with this program and you don’t want to play a guessing game when it comes to your financial future.  Even if your employer qualifies, your loans might not; or if your loans and employer qualify, you might not be on a repayment plan that qualifies for student loan forgiveness or one that results in a remaining balance after 120 payments.  Your student loan servicer can help you find the right repayment plan.

Simply, get the form and get to work.  Document all of your public service employment history while you were making payments on your federal student loans (going back as far as October 2007 when this program first started). Complete Section 3 of the ECF or get your current and past public service employers to do so, and get their signatures. Then, submit the completed form to FedLoan Servicing.  It’s that easy.

Tara Marini is a communications specialist at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.

The post Get Rewarded for your Public Service Work with Loan Forgiveness appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

2003: ‘Academe’s Hispanic Future’

Chronicle of Higher Education - August 22, 2016 - 10:41am
As they enrolled in ever greater numbers, Hispanic students were having an effect on campuses from the Mexican border to Minnesota, from California to the Carolinas.
Categories: Higher Education News

Learning to Let Go: It’s Time for Preschool

U.S. Department of Education Blog - August 22, 2016 - 6:00am

This year, I sent my youngest child to preschool.

Over the summer, we had the luxury of hours of cuddle time, reading books together, jumping on the trampoline and building endless Lego and wood block structures.

Chowin’ down! (photo courtesy of the author)

But now, it’s time for him to start his preschool journey – and I’m feeling a little hesitant about a few things.

First, I am really going to miss him every day. What if other kids say harsh things to him and his feelings get hurt? What if he trips and falls? Or, what if he has an accident and the teachers don’t comfort him as well as I can?

I’m worried about a lot – but I’m also very excited.

Noé’s preschool is diverse in a number of ways. Students are as young as two years old or as old as five. The student population is also made up of kids from different socio-economic backgrounds, as well as different ethnic and language backgrounds. Additionally, some families have a generational history of high levels of education while other may or may not have attained high school diplomas.

Every day, the teachers set up learning stations where students can create, arrange, construct, converse, act out, write, draw or play together.

But what’s most important is the way the teachers treat the children. They care about the children’s social-emotional health and they take the time to chat with me when they have a concern. I notice them watching the students closely, asking them questions and listening closely to how the children responds. Sometimes I see students get into arguments, usually about who gets to be included in a game or who gets to use a particular object. I notice the teachers mindfully observing. Will the children work through the problem on their own, or will they need a little guidance to help them get there? I notice their kind smiles and their gentle, yet firm, voices.

The Fabian family (photo courtesy of the author)

As an English/Spanish bilingual family, we know that Noé’s language and culture are regarded as an asset at his school. His Cambodian teacher is even trying to learn some Spanish to connect with him.

I also appreciate how children with autism, Down syndrome, and other special learning needs are included in his class and participate in play groups the same as other children. Noé is growing and learning in a classroom where everyone’s differences are celebrated and their contributions valued.

Ready for school! (Photo courtesy of the author)

These formative years will allow Noé to be able to understand people better, to understand how a really inclusive community looks and feels, and understand how he’s a part of that community. That’s important to us.

Unfortunately, Noe’s preschool isn’t free, and this is a reality for many parents across the country. As a middle-class working family, we struggle to be able to pay the tuition, but we know it’s worth it.

Letting go of my kid as he ventures into an exciting new stage is tough, but I also know how right it is to send Noé to preschool. This is his time to grow and flourish and I can’t wait to root for him along the way.

Thea Fabian and her husband, Eduardo, have three children – Noé (age 4), Emerson (age 8) and Inés (age 12) – and live in Fresno, California.

The post Learning to Let Go: It’s Time for Preschool appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News


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