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

Why Transfer Mission Matters  With President Trump and others saying community colleges should focus only on vocational programs, some educators note the key role the institutions play in getting students on the road to bachelor’s degrees.

Costs Mount for Federal Loan Programs  The increasing popularity of income-driven repayment plans for federal loans, as well as loan forgiveness programs, might soon lead to the federal government losing money on its huge student loan portfolio, according to a newly released audit from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General.

Liberal Indoctrination? Not So Much  Study counters widely held views about how students’ political views change when they arrive in college.

Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy  New data suggest that STEM majors are not the only route to success.

Research finds early childhood program linked to degree completion at age 35  Participating in an intensive early childhood education program from preschool to third grade is linked to higher educational attainment in mid-life, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers.

First-Generation Students College Access, Persistence, and Postbachelor’s Outcomes  Using data from multiple sources about various points in the education pipeline and beyond, this report examines the personal, enrollment, academic, and career characteristics of students whose parents had not attended college. The intent of the report is to describe the experiences of first-generation students during and after enrollment in school, with a specific focus on enrollment and labor market outcomes, and compare their experiences with those of their peers whose parents enrolled in or completed college.

3 Million Americans Live in Higher Education Deserts  Roughly three million Americans live more than 25 miles from a broad-access public college and do not have the sort of high-speed internet connection necessary for online college programs, according to a new report from the Urban Institute’s education policy program. (Inside Higher Ed)

Advising Equals Engaged Students  Retention and graduation rates increase for community colleges that beef up or get creative with their student advising services.

Educational Attainment Is up, but Gaps Remain  New data from the Lumina Foundation show that in 2016, 46.9 percent of Americans aged 25 to 64 had a postsecondary degree or certificate. (Inside Higher Ed)

The Impact of Parents’ Education Levels  First-generation college students are less likely to persist and graduate than are children of college-educated parents, a national study finds. (Inside Higher Ed)

Cornerstones of Student Success: Institutions Yielding High Return on Investment for Underserved Students  The Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) has published a new report highlighting 4-year postsecondary institutions in Illinois that promote degree completion and job success with less debt for underrepresented minority students, first-generation students, and low-income students. Cornerstones of Student Success:  Institutions Yielding High Return on Investment for Underserved Students, led by SIUE professor emeritus Janet, K. Holt, analyzes publicly available institutional data on graduation rates earnings, student loan debt, and loan default rates to rank 55 public, nonprofit private, and for-profit private institutions in Illinois in terms of their return on investment (ROI) for students.

Developmental Education: An Introduction for Policymakers  This resource, released in collaboration with the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness, explains the importance of developmental education, its current challenges and how policymakers can contribute to improving outcomes.

More Illinois High School Graduates Are Going Out of State for College  According to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, increasing numbers of Illinois high school graduates are enrolling in universities out of state. (WQAD News)

Committing to Keep Illinois Students In-State Understanding College Choice, Student Migration Patterns, and Retention Strategies  This report, sponsored by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, presents in-depth multi-method research and analysis on what matters to Illinois students and their families when choosing a college, why so many students are leaving the state, where they are going, and what the state might do to encourage greater retention.

OH – House GOP Plan Would Merge State Education Departments  New legislation would join the Department of Education, Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation into one cabinet-level agency under the governor’s control. (Columbus Dispatch)