Interested in what’s trending in education? Here are a few highlights from recent education news.

Completion and the Value of College
Insider Higher Ed, Paul Fain

While college completion rates have begun to climb after a two-year slide, the effort is at a pivotal point as national attention shifts to job training. Inside Higher Ed spoke with 20 experts on college completion to gain additional insight. “For example, as colleges sought to improve graduation rates during the last eight years, they were actually looking at student progression and retention, said Ellen Wagner, vice president of research for Hobsons, a company that works on student success, including the use of data analytics.”

Confessions of an Admissions Veteran: What Families Need to Know
The Huffington Post, Su Hallenbeck

What do admissions offices find most important when considering a student for admission? There are more than 3,000 institutions of higher education in the United States alone, and understanding what really matters in the admissions process can be overwhelming for students and families. The answers depend greatly on where the student is applying and how they view a student’s potential for success at their institution, but here are some tips for how to make sense of the college admissions process.

Spurring Student Success Through Effective College Instruction
Huffington Post, Molly Corbett Broad & William D. Hansen

The American Council on Education (ACE) and USA Funds have launched an initiative to examine the impact of effective instruction on college students and their successes. They believe that the most effective teaching practices are the ones that are most likely to improve the student experience.

School Counselors Boost Students' College, Financial Aid Chances, Study Finds
Education Week, Catherine Gewertz

Analysis by the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that meeting one-on-one with a school counselor to discuss college and financial aid can triple the chance a student will attend college, double the likelihood they’ll attend a four-year college, and increasing by nearly seven times the likelihood that they'll apply for financial aid. The study also found other factors that increased the likelihood of students attending college: “Whether the school hosted or participated in college fairs, or offered informational meetings about financial aid were important predictors. Whether students discussed college with a counselor when they were in 9th grade, or participated in a program about college preparation by the time they reached 11th grade also made it more likely they'd talk one-on-one with a counselor.”

College Completion Rates Recover After Slide
Inside Higher Ed, Paul Fain

National college completion rates are on the rise, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The six-year graduation rate is 54.8% for college students who first enrolled in 2010, an increase of 1.9% from the previous year's students. The rate is still lower than the 2007 group of students’ 56.1% graduation rate.

Will changes in online college applications help students chase the American dream?
Hechinger Report, Ricki Morell

Recent changes to the Common Application, which is used by approximately 700 institutions, are designed to help ease students’ anxieties about applying to colleges through the portal. The changes include videos explaining each section and the ability to chat with an online mentor. The changes come as Common App faces new competition from The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, an application system created last year to improve access for all students.

If you want college aid, get the FAFSA in now
CNBC, Kelli Grant

College bound students should be applying for financial aid now. “Students who file the FAFSA in the first three months of availability have historically received more than double the grant funding — that is, money that does not have to be repaid — as those who file later, according to a 2015 study from Edvisors.com.”

How Are Schools Changing? EdSurge Unveils Final Chapter of Yearlong 'State of Edtech' Report
EdSurge, Mary Jo Madda

Changing demographics and increased use of technology have forced schools to evolve. EdSurge explored how schools and districts across the U.S. are experimenting with technology in order to better prepare students. Providing an optimal learning experience to all students is more challenging than ever before, specifically because there are so many building blocks that make up a school. EdSurge tells the story of 14 schools and districts that are excelling in implementing technology.

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