Student borrowing among first-time undergraduates from high-income families rose from 16.6% in 1995-96 to 29.9% in 2015-16, according to an American Enterprise Institute study. The data also showed that more students in every income bracket borrowed in 2015-16 than did so in 1995-96, with the share of student borrowers in 2015-16 standing at close to 30% across all income groups.
Columbia University announced its new Scholarship for Displaced Students, which it says is the first refugee and displaced persons scholarship program of its kind in the world. Up to 30 graduate or undergraduate students will receive full scholarships to study at the university, with $6 million a year committed to the program.
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A growing number of two-year community colleges offer bachelor's degrees, according to Community College Research Initiatives at the University of Washington in Seattle. However, states' rules around such arrangements vary, with some states allowing the degrees to be conferred only at certain institutions or in certain fields of study, researchers noted.
Only 4.3% of incoming medical students were from rural areas in 2017, according to a study published in Health Affairs. "If the number of rural students entering medical school were to become proportional to the share of rural residents in the US population, the number would have to quadruple," writes Scott Shipman of Association of American Medical Colleges.
Harvard University, as part of an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit brought by the National Association of the Deaf, will be required to caption all online resources, including websites, university-produced videos, open online courses and audio on school channels. "As Harvard learned through this lawsuit, universities and colleges are on notice that all aspects of their campus including their websites must be accessible to everyone," NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum said.
The US Department of Education will begin testing a chatbot -- named Aidan and represented by a little owl -- on its website to answer more than 800 frequently asked questions. Officials say the effort seeks to make information more accessible to students and their families.