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

Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions: Evidence-based strategies to get students to & through college  Students face many obstacles on the path to and through college. In recent years, innovators and researchers have explored how insights from behavioral science—the study of how we make decisions and take action—can help students overcome these challenges.

As the Higher Ed Opportunity Act Turns 10, Here’s How the Landscape Has Changed  The latest op-ed in EdSurge, takes a look back at ten key trends that have impacted the world of higher education since the last Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization in 2008 – from performance-based funding, year-round Pell, coding bootcamps and everything in between.

Apprenticeships Make People More Job-Ready Than College  A majority of Americans (62%) agree that apprenticeships-or “earn while learning” vocational opportunities-make people more employable than going to college, according to the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by The Harris Poll.

Illinois to Offer New Merit-Based College Scholarships to In-State Students  Illinois is creating a new merit-based scholarship aimed at getting more high school graduates to attend in-state colleges and universities. The AIM HIGH grant pilot program will provide at least $50 million in financial aid. (Daily Chronicle via Northwest Herald)

Tens of Thousands of Adults Line Up for Free College in Tennessee  Tennessee’s tuition-free community college program is proving popular with adults

Building Community for Part-Time Students  Research has shown that the more college credits students take per term, the more likely they are to graduate ― and on time. Many colleges and states have responded to those findings and implemented new programs, offered incentives and enacted policy that encourage students to pursue at least 12 college credits per semester to graduate on time within two or four years. (Inside Higher Ed)

Study: Default Problem Worse Than Thought  The federal government’s primary accountability rule for colleges and universities measures the loan defaults in a cohort of student borrowers within three years of entering repayment. For borrowers who entered repayment in 2012, more than 10 percent had defaulted on their loans within three years. (Inside Higher Ed)

IL: After years of watching top students leave for other states, U. of I. and lawmakers begin to respond   For years, Illinois universities have watched as thousands of the state’s best and brightest students headed elsewhere for college.  Lured by generous scholarship offers, and spooked by the state’s budget stalemate and rising tuitions, Illinois students have increasingly pursued their higher education in other states. Enrollment has slid, and Illinois is losing far more local students to other states than it is attracting nonresidents to attend college here.

Students Are Dropping Out of College Before Even Starting. Here’s How Educators Are Trying to Stop the Trend.  Every spring, thousands of high school seniors in the District make plans to go to college. Every summer, many of their ambitions get shelved as graduates miss registration deadlines, overlook the fine print in financial aid packages or shift course because of worries about jobs and money. (Washington Post)

MAP Grant Prioritization  HB 5020 is designed to help Illinois attract in-state students by prioritizing Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for eligible returning students. Up until now, MAP grants were awarded for one year only, leaving students to wonder if they would be awarded a grant in subsequent years. With this law, returning students will be given priority in the grant awarding process.

AIM HIGH  In an effort to attract more of Illinois’ high school graduates, the legislature passed and the governor signed SB 2927. It creates the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program, which establishes a merit-based scholarship program, funded by a $25 million appropriation. “This is great news for Illinois families,” said Dr. Al Bowman, executive director, Illinois Board of Higher Education. “We need to keep more of Illinois’ best and brightest at our own colleges and universities, and a new scholarship opportunity will go a long way to making our institutions more attractive.”

Reverse Credit Transfer   SB 2354 will make it easier for thousands of students to transfer credits from one Illinois school to another, even in the case where a student has credits at a four-year institution, and would like to apply those credits toward a degree at a two-year institution. The new law also encourages institutions to counsel students more closely on how best to apply credits toward degrees and requires students who submit 30 or more credits to declare their degree interest so that the schools can advise on the best path to completion.

Dual-Credit Course Cap Removed  Good news for high school students enrolled in dual-credit courses. With the signing of SB 2527, Illinois no longer has a cap on how many credits could transfer. Dual-credit courses are increasing in popularity, giving students the chance to earn a college degree in less time, thereby also reducing the cost of a college education. Sen. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, was a sponsor of the legislation. “It will help motivate the kids that are able to go faster and learn more to have more opportunities on things they could be studying, but then it also helps them with regard to their college costs,” Weaver said.

An Innovative Fix for Rural Higher Education Deserts  A few states are pioneering a leaner, cheaper approach that relies on technology to create oases of learning in higher education deserts. Variously called “higher education centers” or “virtual colleges,” these innovative institutions provide physical infrastructure for existing colleges and universities to offer online and in-person instruction in places where no brick-and-mortar higher education institutions exist. (Washington Monthly)

Dual Enrollment Is Increasing College-Going Behavior, but Only for Some Students  State policy and dual-credit program limitations make it difficult for students from underserved backgrounds to access the opportunity. (Education Dive)