Online learning is hard, but helpful

California community college students are taking more courses online, but completion rates are lower in online courses, according to a new report. Online learning appears to help stronger students complete their degrees.

Open-door colleges fear new Higher Ed Act

Revisions to the Higher Education Act could hurt open-access colleges, community college leaders fear. The reauthorized law could tie federal funding to completion rates — which are hard to calculate for community colleges — and penalize high student loan default rates.

‘Skill builders’ don’t want degrees

Not all college students want a degree. “Skill builders” use low-cost community colleges to pick up expertise. Once they have what they need — often a raise — they depart, driving up the college’s dropout rate.

About half of recent veterans using the GI Bill will complete a college degree or job training within 10 years, reports a new study. Vets do better in school than adult students who haven’t served in the military.

MOOC completion rates aren’t all that low

MOOC completion rates aren’t all that low, argues Kevin Carey.  Only 4 percent of registrants in a Penn study completed their Coursera course, but that includes a majority who never logged on or quit after one log in.

Completion rates are higher for ‘dual’ students

College completion rates are higher for former “dual enrollment” students who took college-level courses in high school, according to a new report. But that could reflect selection bias.

Overall, six-year completion rates ranged from 40 percent for those who started at community colleges, 63 percent who started at public universities and 73 percent for students who started at four-year private nonprofit institutions. At two-year for-profit colleges, which focus on job training, 62 percent completed a credential.

Stopout rate is 94% at 2-year colleges

“Stopping out” — taking a semester or more off — is very common for Texas community college students. Ninety-four percent of enrollees in 2000 “stopped out” at least once. Taking two or more breaks sharply cut the odds of completion.

Study: Online learning boosts completion

Online learning raises completion rates for community college students, concludes a new study. That contradicts previous research, which found higher failure rates for online community college students in two states.

Building a ‘completion culture’

A community college honor society is trying to build a “culture of completion” on campuses where graduation rates are low.

An online tool helps students track their progress toward their goals at a California college with limited counseling staff.

Obama plan won’t control college costs

President Obama’s college rating plan won’t control college costs, an analyst argues.

Proposed changes in financial aid designed to improve completion rates could limit low-income students’ access to college, a new report warns.

Gates put $472 million into college completion

The Gates Foundation has spent $472 million on higher education reforms since 2006 with most of it going to help low-income people complete college credentials. Gates-funded research has spurred state lawmakers to limit remedial coursework and link higher ed funding to graduation rates and other success measures. Is there pushback? Yes indeed.

Wealthy philanthropists are transforming public — but not private — higher education, warns a professor who thinks the economic elite are too powerful.