Paying For College: What Is Affordable?

Paying For College: What Is Affordable? Urban Institute. Sandy Baum, Victoria Lee. April 7, 2017

Rising concerns over college prices and student debt suggest that college is unaffordable for many people. But a more meaningful question is whether particular college options are worth it for individual students. This brief, along with a new Urban Institute website, outlines the many factors that shed light on the issue of college affordability, including prices of different college paths and the resources that institutions, governments, and students from different backgrounds draw on to cover their expenses. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 6 pages, 164.06 KB].

Unlocking Skills: Successful Initiatives for Integrating Foreign-Trained Immigrant Professionals

Unlocking Skills: Successful Initiatives for Integrating Foreign-Trained Immigrant Professionals. Migration Policy Institute. Margie McHugh and Madeleine Morawski. February 2017.

With nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants and refugees in the United States unable to fully utilize their professional skills, better understanding of the elements of successful programs and policies that reduce the waste of advanced education and skills can benefit immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy more generally.

This report explores a range of frontline programs and policy reforms that are providing cutting-edge career navigation, relicensing, gap filling, and job search assistance for foreign-trained professionals in a wide range of occupations. It also examines different state policy and licensing contexts that affect these highly skilled individuals, with a focus on the dense thicket of state laws and regulations that slow or prevent qualified individuals from practicing in a wide range of occupations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 43 pages, 5.65 MB].

Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief

Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Laurie A. Harris, Marcy E. Gallo. February 28, 2017

For decades, the federal government and academic research institutions have been partners in supporting American innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth. The federal government is the largest source of academic research and development (R&D) funding in the United States, providing funds through more than two dozen federal agencies, with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) providing the largest portions of federal R&D funding to U.S. colleges and universities.
As part of oversight of federal funding for academic research, Congress and federal agencies have established requirements through statutes, regulations, and guidance documents that U.S. universities and other research institutions must comply with when applying for, receiving, and reporting on the results of federal research grants. Such requirements seek to ensure transparency and effectiveness of federal funds, while helping to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

[PDF format, 16 pages, 695.76 MB].

Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments

Strengthening Local Education Systems for Newly Arrived Adults and Children: Empowering Cities through Better Use of EU Instruments. Migration Policy Institute. Brian Salant and Meghan Benton. March 2017.

The huge influx of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe over the past two years has placed considerable pressure on local services and infrastructure in many cities, including in education. Cities only have competence over limited areas of education policy, leaving many unable to respond quickly to rapid population changes or make structural changes, such as to teacher recruitment and training, to adapt to the needs of diverse populations. Many cities are facing significant capacity and infrastructure challenges associated with large-scale arrivals; others are struggling to stretch budgets that were established on the basis of outdated population figures.

This MPI Europe report examines the hurdles that cities face when helping new arrivals access education and training. It also highlights innovative ways municipalities support newly arrived migrants as they enter the education system and local labor force, including two-generation and co-located services through which parents and children can access child care, health and social services, and language training in one location. Others have developed “whole-place” approaches that work across all local services to address the whole education-to-work pathway. The authors outline ways in which the European level could help mitigate multilevel governance challenges and scale what works, as well as strategies the Partnership on Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees could consider to better support cities in their immediate response to large migrant influxes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.1 MB].

How Governments Support Higher Education Through the Tax Code

How Governments Support Higher Education Through the Tax Code. Pew Charitable Trusts. Fiscal Federalism Initiative. February 22, 2017

To maximize the impact of higher education investments and achieve desired policy goals, policymakers should have knowledge of the full range of assistance provided to institutions and students. This means having an understanding of the billions of dollars made available through spending programs and the tax code. However, too frequently these two types of support are not considered in tandem, and most states lack the cost estimates they would need to determine how tax provisions for higher education compare in size to other postsecondary investments. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 39 pages, 653.11 KB].

Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education

Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education. Brookings Institution. Rebecca Winthrop et al. February 23, 2017

Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, sets out a grand ambition for education systems around the globe to achieve not just universal primary schooling, but to expand universal education from early childhood to secondary school and achieve relevant learning outcomes. While the Millennium Development Goals helped propel millions of children into primary school, meeting this larger goal in the coming decade and a half will require accelerated progress and a break from business as usual.

This report, prepared by researchers from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, describes the major gaps in education and the need for innovation to meet ambitious goals. Not only are children in low- and middle-income countries about 100 years behind their peers in measures of schooling, but rapid advances in technology, changes to the world of work, and the complex global challenges we face today call for a broader set of competencies every young person will need to be successful. To thrive in a changing world, young people will need skills and competencies that include information literacy, flexibility, critical thinking and collaboration in addition to academic knowledge. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 89 pages, 2.27 MB].

The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait

The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2016

While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world.

This report summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education system. The disparity between our goals—most notably the preparation of citizens who can thrive in the twenty-first century—and the nation’s current capacity in languages will be the subject of a forthcoming report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on Language Learning. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.39 MB].