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Financial Aid
Malformed Campus News
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5 Alternative Sources for College Financial Aid
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 02, 2015
“The average cost for a year of in-state public college tuition and fees for 2014-2015 is $22,410, according to the College Board. When you see those numbers, it's not surprising the national student loan debt balance has reached $1.32 trillion. Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step most families take to help pay for higher education through government loans, but for students and parents looking for additional funds to offset college costs (and graduate with as little student loan debt as possible), efforts shouldn't stop there. Scholarships are a great (and free) way to be awarded for your achievements and get extra money for college, but with scholarship websites and organizations boasting a seemingly endless supply of awards, applying can easily become a daunting and discouraging task.”
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Financial Aid for Undocumented Students Is Losing Its Stigma
by NYT > Education

Feb 27, 2015
“Colleges and universities are increasingly making higher education more affordable for students for whom all federal and most state forms of financial aid remain off limits.”
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Find Financial Aid Funding for Apprenticeship Programs
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Feb 18, 2015
“As higher education and federal financial aid policy continues to mature, discussions are starting to focus around whether the traditional, classroom-focused model is really the most effective and financially viable option for higher education. In addition to newer delivery methods such as online degree programs, old school apprenticeships are starting to come back into vogue among policymakers and students.”
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Strauss: The most common college financial aid mistakes — and how to avoid them
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Feb 15, 2015
“Here is some important advice from a financial aid expert on how to avoid making the most common financial aid mistake for college-going families. It was written by Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors.com, a web site about planning and paying for college. He is also co-author of the bestselling book, “Filing the FAFSA,” which is available for free download at www.edvisors.com/fafsa-bookRead full article >>”
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Economist: Send Obama’s free-community-college idea back to the drawing board
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Feb 03, 2015
“President Obama’s proposal to make community college free sparked a debate over the plan’s ambition, expense and details. We’ll feature some of those arguments here on Grade Point. Sandy Baum is a professor at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development and a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a think tank focused on social and economic policy.  An expert in student financial aid and college costs, she raises some compelling questions about the idea of free tuition for community college. Read full article >>”
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Importance
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Scholarships to Help International Students Afford U.S. Colleges
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Jan 29, 2015
“American colleges and universities are among the best in the world, and for many students from around the globe, attending college in the U.S. would be a dream come true. Every year, thousands of students from nearly every continent flock to campuses across the U.S. to earn their degrees and take what they've learned back home. Though it's true that American colleges and universities are far from free, many offer generous scholarships to international students, and there are a handful of private scholarships available to students as well. Before you write it off as impossible, check out scholarship opportunities for funding your American college dream.”
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Importance
1
Romney Uses Speech at Mississippi State University to Tailor His Presidential Themes
by NYT > Education

Jan 28, 2015
“The G.O.P. presidential nominee in 2012 addressed issues like student loan debt, income inequality and poverty in a speech at Mississippi State.”
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Importance
1
4 Ways to Pick a Cost-Efficient Law School
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Jan 22, 2015
“Law school enrollment continues to decline, according to a December report from the American Bar Association, but tuition and fees remain high at many institutions. While some schools have decreased or capped tuition to attract students, getting a J.D. is still expensive. At public schools the average was $23,214 for in-state students and $36,202 for out-of-state students. "It makes sense for aspiring law students to carefully examine the total costs of earning a law degree and the broad consequences of financing a legal education with borrowed money," wrote Heather Jarvis, a law school financial aid expert who graduated from the law school at Duke University, in an email.”
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Importance
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Students begin to see fruits of three-year career services overhaul
by The GW Hatchet

Mar 02, 2015
“Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer
Career Coach Toy Draine, left, helps junior Alexis Chandler review her resume and plan out a job search strategy at GW's Center for Career Services. More specialized career advisers and better communication with students has led to a rise in the number of students using the office.
When senior Danielle Noel received an email from GW’s career center offering her the chance to travel to Manhattan in a professional networking blitz, she said she knew she had to apply.
Noel, a senior majoring in political communication, said working in New York City is her “life goal.” Now, she is one of 43 students who will travel to New York with GW for the first-ever Career Quest, made possible by the largest donation that the Center for Career Services has seen in its history. But officials say the program is just one of many that have rolled out across campus since the University began overhauling career services in 2012.
That three-year transition is now mostly complete. And students and officials say the shake up has paid off.
“We started to invest in resources, and you start to see the return,” Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski said.
Konwerski said increased specialization in career advisers and more communication between career services and undergraduates has drawn students to use the office more frequently. More students attended last month’s career fair than ever before, he said.
He added that the overhaul came from the top-down: It started from a push by Board of Trustees members and Provost Steven Lerman.
“It’s a combination of more people doing that and more specialization is definitely helping students realize they can see their career coach then go and see the employer relations person and figure out what is it they want to do and see what kinds of jobs are out there,” Konwerski said.
Money flows in
Through trustee Mark Shenkman’s $5 million gift – announced last May – juniors, seniors and graduate students had the chance to apply to participate in Career Quest, a networking trek to New York City with GW alumni, faculty and career coaches. Forty-three students were selected to go on the two-day trip over spring break. They will meet with employers like CBS Interactive, American Red Cross and Harper Collins.
While GW has offered a similar program for students in the business school before, this trip marks the first time the networking opportunity has expanded to non-business majors.
The Shenkman gift will also go toward Operation GW VALOR, a program that looks to assist student veterans in translating military skills to the workforce. The donation will bring a digital mock interview and virtual career-coaching space to Colonial Crossroads, as well as go toward resources for international students.
Students on Career Quest will focus on learning about businesses without the pressure of being considered for a job, said assistant professor of media and public affairs Imani Cheers, who is a faculty guide on the trip's media track.
“The trip is an opportunity for students to see the inner-workings of businesses, not to get jobs,” Cheers said. “They aren’t walking away with job offers, but it’s a great way to go somewhere like CBS Interactive and see if that’s the kind of work environment that would be appealing.”
Josephine Hill, a senior majoring in communication, found out about Career Quest through GWork, an online portal that lists job and internship opportunities. She will visit media-related businesses as part of a group focused on print and broadcast media. Other tracks will connect with advertising, service and sustainability companies.
Hill now interns in digital crisis communications at Edelman, a public relations firm in D.C., but said she knows she wants to work in New York after graduation. As a senior about to graduate, she said she is “constantly” in search of a job, and that she hopes this “informational experience” will help her land a full-time position.
“This provides us with contacts in New York through GW, and GW has such a strong community in New York, so it’s super ideal,” Hill said.
Before the trip, students are paired with alumni who work in the city through the Alumni Association.
Hannah Dannenfeldt, a senior majoring in international affairs, said her adviser has given her tips on how to strengthen her resume and told her about potential career and internship opportunities. They have met once in person and spoke once over the phone in the past month.
“She stressed branching out from what I’m familiar with, unique paths that might not be typical international affairs careers,” Dannenfeldt said, adding that she will visit companies with a focus on public service.
The New York area has the second-largest concentration of alumni, after the District. Alumni in both New York and D.C. have volunteered as advisers for the trip.
The Career Quest and Operation GW VALOR program aren't the only areas recently lifted by an influx in donations. In 2013, GW began fundraising specifically for its unpaid internship scholarship program, the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund, which helps students afford taking unpaid internships.
Part of Shenkman’s gift also went toward that program, though it has also received donations from parents and students, Assistant Provost for University Career Services Rachel Brown said.
Brown added that the University has recently publicized the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund to donors through videos highlighting the grant’s recipients. GW has given 140 grants to students interning so far.
“Students share their internship stories and the impact these internships have had on their personal and professional development. This demonstrates the value of the program in an invaluable way,” Brown said.
And while the University’s budget has seen crunches across departments — and just three GW departments not including career services were granted budget increases this year — officials point to the commitment to enhancing career services as a pillar of its decade-long strategic plan.
The blueprint, approved in 2012, laid out increasing career services' budget to $2 million each year to finance the overhaul, which means it would see a decade-long investment of an additional $20 million.
A focus on employer development
The center's restructuring included hiring career coaches who have experience in specific professional areas, the launch of a University-wide career services council in 2011 – consisting of faculty, staff and students – employer relations development, and a heavier focus on international and veteran students, Brown said.
The Center for Career Services has teamed up faculty and students across campus to join the Career Services Council, which is especially focused on international students, Brown said. The council has connected students this year with employers including MGM International, Amazon, Facebook, Gilbane and Sojitz Corporation, she added.
Brown said the Center for Career Service’s primary goal for the year is to “enhance student engagement with career services, starting at freshman year.” Career Services sent postcards to every incoming freshman’s home last August before classes began and increased outreach efforts within first-year residence halls.
This year, the employer development program has brought employers into classrooms. Professors invited the Children's National Medical Hospital to the School of Nursing's capstone class on the Virginia Science and Technology campus, and representatives from e-commerce giant Amazon visited a few GW School of Business career management strategy classes, career services’ managing director for employer services Staci Fowler said.
The center’s employer development program, led by Fowler, identifies new and existing employers in public, private and nonprofit sectors, and develops and maintains relationships with them.
Career services officials had previously said they wanted to complete the hiring aspects of the overhaul by 2015.
While the job market is better for recent college graduates compared to when the career services overhaul began, a healthy market should not change the emphasis on career building at universities, said Mike Cahill, the director of career services at Syracuse University.
“When jobs are easier to attain, people invest less in getting a job and they end up in a job they aren’t well suited for and find themselves looking for another job a year later,” Cahill said. “It’s counterintuitive, but when it’s easy to get a job, they don’t work as hard on it.”
Syracuse has general career advisers, but officials are considering the switch to specialized advisers like GW’s, Cahill said. At Syracuse, a central career counseling office works alongside career specialists within each school.
“You have to have a big enough staff to be able to do what GW did,” he said. “Good career services will start before students come through, to completion and beyond.”
Ryan Lasker contributed reporting.”

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Importance
1
GW secures 2,300 foreign scholarship, research contracts in five years
by The GW Hatchet

Mar 02, 2015
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
The University clinched nearly 2,300 international scholarship and research deals with countries like Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Brazil between 2007 and 2012, according to the latest available data that GW is required to report to the Department of Education.
That’s 20 times more contracts than any of GW’s competitor schools included in the data, like Northwestern and Tufts universities. Experts say those contracts are for research projects or scholarships funded by foreign governments – two areas that have grown over the last several years as universities shift to a more global focus – and are key to raising a school’s international profile.
But GW’s average contract was worth $26,750 during that time frame – putting it second-to-last on the list of more than 80 schools, just above the University of Kentucky. A spokeswoman from the University’s research office declined to comment on why GW may be so low on the list.
Kevin Kinser, an associate professor of international higher education policy at the University at Albany, said GW’s low average may be because most of those contracts listed were for small government grants or scholarships.
For example, GW had about 100 contracts with the JSC Center of International Programs Bolash, an organization that issues student scholarships funded by Kazakhstan's government. GW also had contracts with schools like the University of Cambridge in England and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.
Kinser said one reason GW may have so many more contracts than other schools is that GW officials may be more diligent about tracking the data. He also said the contracts may represent consulting work that schools do with foreign governments.
“Some institutions make these kinds of projects a significant activity because they can bring in a lot of resources for the institution and also help establish the international reputation of the institution,” Kinser said.
Philip Altbach, the director of the Center for International Higher Education and a research professor at Boston College, said the number of government-funded scholarships like the ones shown in the data have likely increased as schools have looked to expand their connections abroad.
He said many schools see international students as “cash cows” because they often come from wealthier families and can afford to pay full tuition.
“Also, the reputation aspect is very much there, as they’re trying to increase visibility overseas,” Altbach said. “It’s partly dealing with global rankings that they’re trying to improve and partly to connect themselves with more and better students.”
GW is ranked No. 194 globally by Times Higher Education on a list of 400 schools. U.S. News & World Report puts GW at No. 281 out of 500.
Officials announced earlier this year that they would push researchers to complete work overseas as securing national funding for research projects has become more competitive.
Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa declined through a University spokeswoman to provide information about the contracts, which countries GW works with most often, which schools at GW have the most research contracts or how many total international contracts the University currently has.
Benjamin Hopkins, an associate professor of history and international affairs, has won grants in the United Kingdom and a three-month fellowship at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute.
“They were not only helpful for my professional development, but also good for the University in the sense of raising its overseas research profile,” Hopkins said.
James Clark, an associate biology professor, has had a contract with the Chinese Academy of Biology since 2001 to study dinosaur fossils in the Gobi Desert. Through two $300,000 grants from the National Science Foundation, Clark has found four new species of dinosaurs and “a whole fauna of turtles, crocodiles and mammals.”
Clark said though he did not know why GW was at the forefront in number of international contracts, he was “not terribly surprised.”
The University has contracts with dozens of Chinese organizations, like the Chinese Center for Disease Control, the National Bureau of Statistics of China and Webster University in China, according to the data.
“China has exploded with science and they’re putting a lot of money into science, so it’s a really hot place to be working in science in general,” Clark said.
Included in the data were also 785 monetary gifts from foreign countries, worth $14.9 million. Though that’s the second-highest number of donations, the total amount puts GW at No. 17 on the list, behind competitors like New York, Northwestern and Georgetown universities.
GW’s average gift size was just over $19,000 – far smaller than most of the other schools on the list. Georgetown University’s average gift size was about $2 million.
Michael Nilsen, the vice president for public policy at the Association for Fundraising Professionals, said GW’s small average gift size shows “great potential.”
“Obviously, would you love to see a greater average? Sure,” Nilsen said. “It really behooves the fundraising department there, and I’m sure it’s something they’re working on cultivating.”
Nilsen said as schools like GW have tried to extend their international reach over the last several years, they may see more small gifts “because you reach out to more people on average.”
“You’re looking to throw a wider net out to students,” he said. “I’d imagine there’s more international giving as there are more international students overall.”
Nilsen said schools will try to connect with international alumni or build new donor connections as their presence in another country grows. In 2007, GW received $15,000 from its Seoul alumni club. Albert Wang, the highest individual donor, gave a total of $2 million in 2007 and 2008. Wang is from Taiwan, according to the data.
The government of Kuwait has also given GW a series of large gifts over the past several years. In 2005, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences gave $3.4 million to establish an endowed department chair position. Three years later, the government of Kuwait put $1 million toward the Elliott School of International Affairs’ Institute for Middle East Studies.
And in 2011, the government of Kuwait gave $4.5 million to the Institute for Middle East Studies and the Global Resources Center’s Middle East and North Africa Research Center at Gelman Library.
University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said officials have “increased the level of integration that occurs” between international fundraisers and international alumni relations.
In 2013, the University added two international fundraisers to its six-year-old international fundraising team. GW also hosts dozens of overseas fundraising events each year.
“We have enhanced the global aspects of our curricula and made it a priority to engage our international alumni,” Csellar said.
In the long term, that strategy might make GW a more successful international fundraiser than its peers, said Richard Ammons, a consultant at higher education fundraising firm Marts & Lundy.
“My suspicion is that over time, because they’re cultivating a larger number of donors, they’d be able to surpass the total number as average gifts increase,” Ammons said.”

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