According to a recent Harris Poll, students who need the most financial assistance to pay for college and have the best chance of getting it are the students who are least likely to know how or where to find that assistance. In reaction to the survey, Sallie Mae, a leading provider of education loans, announced the launch of a new three-year $15 million awareness campaign to increase understanding of the student financial aid process among disadvantaged students.
The survey found that 66 percent of African-American and Hispanic parents said that they do not have enough information about how to pay for college. Meanwhile, 44 percent of white parents said they lacked the same information. The poll also showed that more than 66 percent of parents with incomes under $25,000 could not identify basic sources of financial aid such as grants, loans, or scholarships. It also revealed that many parents misjudge tuition costs by as much as 50 percent in either direction. This lack of information often leads many black, Hispanic, and low-income students to give up on their dream of attending college.
Sallie Mae’s “Project Access” awareness plan will consist of financial aid workshops to be given around the country to students and parents, as well as toll-free telephone assistance, and a half-hour television program called “Paying for College” that is scheduled to air three times this spring in at least seven U.S. television markets.
Read more on the project on the Sallie Mae Web site at: http://www.salliemae.com/tools/print/printer_friendly012203.html#ind012203b
|Teacher Shortage Wrongly Identified as a Problem in the Nation’s Schools
According to a new report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), a shortage of teachers is not the real problem in our nation’s schools. The report, entitled No Dream Denied: A Pledge to America’s Children, states that the actual problem is teacher retention.
NCTAF’s findings show that about one third of teachers quit during their first three years and almost half leave within five. The most disturbing fact is that the turnover rate for teachers is highest in poor, predominantly minority schools. Some reasons for the mass exodus are said to be poor working conditions and the increase in lower standards for teachers, including inadequate pay, training, and mentoring programs. The report recommends more than 30 solutions, including rigorous teaching quality preparation and standards, and an upgrade in the appeal of teaching through better preparation, mentoring, and pay.
The complete report is available at: http://www.nctaf.org/dream/dream.htm