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Malformed Campus News

Importance
1
Strauss: Asian Americans file complaint alleging discrimination in Harvard admissions
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

May 17, 2015
“More than 60 Asian American organizations filed a complaint (see below) with the federal government on Friday alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian Americans in the admissions process and calling for an investigation.Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Strauss: Common Application makes changes for 2015-16. Here they are.
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

May 15, 2015
“The college admissions season never actually starts and ends because it is always ongoing for one group of students or another. Even when high school seniors are learning where they have been accepted in the late spring and are deciding where they will go in the fall,  juniors are visiting campuses, taking the ACT or SAT, and making lists of where they will apply. In that spirit, this post looks at the changes — including essay prompts — coming to the Common Application, which was developed in 1975 to help reduce the number of separate applications and essays a student applying to numerous colleges and universities would have to complete. It is accepted by more than 500 colleges and universities, and used by more than 800,000 students.Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Strauss: Each senior at Camden charter school applied, on average, to more than 45 colleges
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Apr 27, 2015
“A Camden, N.J., charter school encouraged each one of its seniors to send a lot of college applications, and by a lot, we are talking about A LOT — an average of more than 45 per student. One student sent out more than 70.Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Your Money Adviser: How to Appeal College Financial Aid Offers
by NYT > Education

Apr 25, 2015
“A student’s true financial status isn’t always reflected in an aid application, which is why an appeal can often persuade a college to give more.”
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Importance
1
Top-performing schools with elite students
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Apr 19, 2015
“The Washington Post’s America’s Most Challenging High Schools list is designed to recognize schools that challenge average students. These top-performing schools, listed in alphabetical order, were excluded from the list because, despite their exceptional quality, their admission rules and standardized test scores indicate they have few or no average students. Non-neighborhood schools with SAT or ACT averages above the highest averages for neighborhood schools nationally are placed on this list. Our sampling of private schools is exempt from this rule so that readers can see how they compare to schools on the main list.Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Rocketship breaks ground on new District charter school after delays
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Apr 15, 2015
“Construction for the new Rocketship elementary school, a high-tech public charter elementary school in the District, got underway Tuesday in Ward 8. The D.C. Public Charter School Board gave the California-based operator conditional approval in 2013 through an expedited application process, but opening day was ultimately pushed back a year, following a lengthy search for a location and some local opposition. Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Strauss: Beyond prestige and comfort: The right way to choose a college
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Apr 12, 2015
“It’s decision time for high school seniors around the country, who are choosing which college/university they will attend in the fall, and its the start of decision time for high school juniors, who are getting ready to start on the college admissions road if they haven’t already (and plenty have). How to choose? Michael S. Roth is president of Wesleyan University, provides a road map in this post. Wesleyan is a  private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. Roth’s most recent book is “Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters.”Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
Some careers are hiding in plain sight
by The Traveler

Apr 28, 2015
“Responding to job postings provides employers with large applicant pools. Chances are slim for those that don't know job hunters' secrets to tracking down "hidden jobs".
The hidden job market is made up of all the jobs filled before they are posted, as well as all jobs received by people who did not respond to postings, said Donald Asher, keynote speaker of a live Web cast on campus titled, "Seven Secrets of the Hidden Job Market".”

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Importance
1
Financial aid pool swells with more students to support
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
GW will have $27 million more to give to students in financial aid next year.
The Board of Trustees approved roughly $182 million for undergraduate students’ financial aid Friday, an increase of about 6.5 percent from last year and part of the largest expansion in financial aid funds the University has signed off on in six years. The increase partially stems from the larger size of next fall's freshmen class, after officials accepted 45 percent of all applicants.
More than $260 million for financial aid will be set aside for all students, an 11 percent increase from the pool of money available to students last year. Part of that increase comes from a 23 percent jump in graduate student aid, which grew to $78 million.
University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an email that swelling aid pool was based on several criteria including anticipated enrollment growth, increases in tuition and “the amount available through philanthropy.”
“Most importantly, the increase stems from the University's commitment to enhancing access and ensuring our financial aid packages remain competitive in the higher education marketplace,” Smith said.
The amount of aid money available to undergraduates dropped by $2 million in 2013, a decrease officials attributed to a smaller undergraduate class. Officials predict to gain an extra $56 million in tuition revenue for the upcoming year, according to the fiscal year 2016 operating budget that the Board of Trustees signed off on Friday.
The bump in tuition revenue could help GW with its current budget issues because the University is dependent on tuition for roughly 75 percent of revenue .
Tuition for incoming students will increase 3.4 percent in the fall, the first year it will be more than $50,000, but an amount that's about in line with past increases. A portion of those funds will also go toward mental health resources on campus. As part of its overall focus on affordability, officials lock in tuition for returning students through the University's fixed tuition policy.
Officials publicly revealed for the first time last fall that they place hundreds of students who cannot afford the cost of tuition on the waitlist each year, a decision that affects about 10 percent of applicants annually.
Sandy Baum, a financial aid expert and higher education professor at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, said some universities may increase the aid amount in hopes the students will decide to come and pay the rest of the cost to attend.
“If we can give someone a $10,000 grant and get them to enroll, [and] if they didn’t enroll, we wouldn’t have the other $50,000,” she said.
Media Credit: Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor
The Board of Trustees approved more than $260 million for financial aid on Friday.
She said colleges across the country have faced pressure to admit more students from low and middle-income families. Over the past five years, middle-class families at GW have had to pay more than double the amount high-income families do, even after receiving financial aid packages.
“If the size of the class goes up, even if they aid students at the same rate that they were before, the dollar amount of aid is going to go up,” she said.
Antoinette Flores, a policy analyst for the Center for American Progress who focuses on student debt and financial aid, said an extra scholarship could be the final push a student needs to choose GW over another university. As schools increasingly use smaller packages of merit aid to lure talented students, merit-based aid at GW has increased by more than a third since 2010.
“GW might be able to offer someone a $2,000 grant or merit aid scholarship, and it could encourage higher income students to attend that institution over another institution,” she said.
Officials predict that $12 million will be used for scholarships and money used for University fellowships for students for the next fiscal year, a $1 million decrease from last year, according to the operating budget approved by the Board of Trustees Friday.
Rick Ross, the co-founder of College Financing Group, a financial aid consulting firm, said schools like GW do their best to make sure their financial aid pool never dips below a certain monetary level so as many students as possible can receive aid without the institution losing money.
Experts said last year’s increase in financial aid would not hurt the University financially because it matched GW’s planned tuition increase.
He said officials have to strike a delicate balance when determining how much money to give out to students, including both merit and other kinds of aid.
“At every college they would ideally want every student to pay full tuition,” Ross said. “They don’t want to give away their money, so they’re going to try to see how much merit aid they need to get to attract this student without giving away too much.”
Jacqueline Thomsen contributed reporting.”

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Importance
1
Archaeology professor designs first online companion course for field work in Kenya
by The GW Hatchet

May 18, 2015
“Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Katie Causey | Photo Editor
A field archaeology course by associate archaeology professor David Braun now features an online companion course, the first of its kind at the University for a course held abroad.
Before GW’s archaeology students visit Kenya, they’re going to have to see it on their computer screens.
A field archaeology course run by David Braun, an associate professor of archaeology, now features a four-week-long online course that prepares students to study early human origins for six weeks over the summer at the Koobi Fora Field School in northern Kenya's Sibiloi National Park. The class marks the University’s first online companion course for a course held abroad.
With previous classes, Braun had previously typed up a 150-page manual with information on geology, ecology and evolution for students to read before heading off to Kenya. But that set the students back in learning once they got to Kenya because, “we knew that they didn’t get to read [the document],” he said.
“Some of them would refer to it while they’re in the field. Actual learning didn’t happen until we got to Kenya," Braun said.
The online course, which launched this month, features videos from previous trips to Kenya and key information that the manual covered, but presents it in a way that’s more accessible for the students, Braun said. He said he expects to “start at a higher level as soon as we get to Kenya.”
The field school, which has been around since the early 1980s, received more than 180 applications this year but is taking only 25 students. He said he’s using the course as a way for students to pick up general concepts that they’ll need to understand before going out and digging in Africa.
Braun’s course is designed solely for his field course students, who are from countries like Ethiopia and South Africa as well as GW. The course isn’t open to the general public, but the decision to open it up rests on Braun, Paul Schiff Berman, the vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, said.
The online course is hosted alongside GW’s massive open online courses, like the Graduate School of Political Management’s course on business and politics, but it’s still not considered a MOOC, Berman said.
“For technical reasons we hosted it on the same platform as our MOOCs because, like MOOC participants, these students are not enrolled in the GW Banner system,” he said in an email.
Berman said University online course designers worked with Braun to bring the curriculum from the manual into the digital age.
Those designers “worked with Professor Braun and his colleagues on the instructional design, video, editing and animation work to build this course, and we performed the work necessary to make it available to his Koobi Fora Field School students worldwide,” Berman said.
Courses like University Writing incorporate some online aspects, where students complete assignments online instead of coming to class. The University started focusing on hybrid courses in 2011 in a project that the University’s cost-cutting task force expected would save the University $6 million.
“Many faculty members find that putting some part of their courses online is beneficial, either because they can devote more on-campus class time to hands-on projects and discussion or because, as in this case, the logistics of the course lend themselves to an online or hybrid approach,” Berman said.
Curt Bonk, a psychology and technology professor at Indiana University who has written several books on online learning, said the online course can hold students accountable for knowing the necessary material, especially if there are tests.
“There has to be some kind of incentive,” Bonk said. “So there has to be an exam on it or a discussion or a reflection.”
Bonk said the online companion course could excite students for the trip more than a pamphlet and Braun’s videos from earlier excursions are a good way to give current students a taste of what they’ll be experiencing.
He added that students will also better understand the material, which will cut down on having to reteach what the pre-course materials cover.
“You don’t want people walking blank,” Bonk said. “Going through the curriculum will give them that base knowledge. You can go deeper and talk about things knowing that people had that anchor.””

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