Here are some new resources and news for the field of higher education.

Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize Perkins Act  A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides federal support to career education programs. (Inside Higher Ed, May 5)

Illinois Postsecondary Investments, a Lumina Foundation Strategy Labs report on how higher education funding has impacted Illinois’ college attainment goals over the last few decades was released this week, and is posted on the Strategy Labs website.

Push for ‘Unit Records’ Revived  A bipartisan group of senators Monday introduced legislation to overturn a ban on a federal data system that would track employment and graduation outcomes of college students. (Inside Higher Ed, May 16)

2017 College Changes Everything® Conference Registration Now Open!  July 20, 2017  This one day conference focuses on effective practices and showcases resources available to help with increasing access to postsecondary education, college completion, and career readiness. The conference also supports the state’s Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

Second Thoughts About Higher Education Decisions  Most former college students say they would change either their major, college attended or credential pursued if they could do it all over again, survey finds. (Inside Higher Ed, June 1)

Looking for information on melding Social-Emotional Development and College- and Career-Ready Standards? The Aspen Institute’s publication “This Time, With Feeling” serves as a primer to integrating these in order to bolster students’ overall success.

This Policy Snapshot, Need-Based State Financial Aid, explores need-based financial aid programs across the country and highlights state program examples, grant and scholarship expenditure amounts, and recent legislative activity.

Making Sense of the Changes to Financial Aid Funding in President Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget  This Ed Note Blog post comes from Sarah Pingel, a senior policy analyst at Education Commission of the States, and discusses several of the changes to student financial aid programs and implications for states under President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget.

MN Standardized Test Scores Have a New Value. Here’s Why It Could Pay to Opt-In
Starting this next school year, students can submit their 10th-grade reading and 11th-grade math scores to Minnesota State colleges and universities to demonstrate college readiness in these areas. (MinnPost, May 18)

Signs of a Ceiling in Online Ed Market  Report on online education landscape suggests potentially leaner times ahead for colleges. Community colleges are already seeing it. (Inside Higher Ed, May 22)  

Is It Really Cheaper to Start at a Community College?  In this report the authors investigate whether it is more efficient for students to start at a two-year or four-year college if their intent is to complete a bachelor’s degree. The analysis uses data from two state systems, including term-by-term course-level information with matching student demographics and degree records on entering cohorts of students at each state’s public two- and four-year institutions. These data are combined with cost and tuition data to estimate the relative efficiency of starting at a two-year versus a four-year college. The authors found that the optimal choice about where to start varies across a number of dimensions: low rates of credit transfer are important, but the most salient factor is the diversionary effect of two-year colleges on ever transferring to a four-year college. Sensitivity testing and break-even analyses illustrate how findings vary across student pathways.  (Community College Research Center)

Bipartisan Push on Career Education  Support for vocational education is crossing the partisan divide, with growing calls for a policy focus on apprenticeships and education programs that don’t feature the four-year degree. (Inside Higher Ed, May 17)

Mixed Views on Higher Ed  Americans see the value in getting a college degree, but they’re not particularly happy with our nation’s higher education system. (Inside Higher Ed, May 11)

Tuition-Free Community College to Become the Norm in TN As Bill Heads to Haslam  Tennessee will become the first state in the nation to offer tuition-free community college to nearly every resident without a degree. (Tennessean, May 10)

Related Education Commission of the States Resource: Free Community College: An approach to increase adult student success in postsecondary education

What Is the Role of Faculty in the Higher Ed Business Model?  National and state benchmarking data became very important for making the case. (Education Dive, May 2)