December 2, 2020

The Weekly Roundup: Robert Smith and Income-Based Financing at HBCUs

Robert Smith and income-based financing, steady learning during the pandemic, and hiking through the semester

Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week’s stories:

 

Robert Smith and Income-Based Financing at HBCUs 

Robert F. Smith in September of 2019 made good on his promise to pay $34 million to settle the student loan debt of almost 400 students who graduated from Morehouse College that spring. Although this act changed the lives of those 400 students, Smith recognized that more work needs to be done to tackle the student debt crisis. He’s turning to income-based financing to do just that. 

This summer, he set up the Student Freedom Initiative which looks to provide financial and career support to students at historically Black colleges and universities through the power of income-based financing. 

Read the full story on Edsurge here.

 

Hiking Through the Semester

There are many that argue the benefits of outdoor learning. However, few institutions are offering classes through one of America’s most iconic trails. Enter Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA. 

Since 2006, Emory and Henry College has offered their “Semester A-Trail” to students who want to both earn credit and also take on one of America’s toughest yet most beautiful hiking trails in the Appalachian Trail. Students work with professors to create a self-directed project that can be completed while on the trail. 

Read the full story on Inside Higher Ed here.  

 

Learning Loss Was Less Than Predicted in a Pandemic Year

Both NWEA and Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcome predicted dis-heartening results when it came to learning loss this year with the pandemic. Predicting that students would only retain about 70% of their reading gains and only 50% in math. However, research recently published by NWEA tells a different story. 

Thanks to teachers and parents, students loss far less of their learning gains than originally predicted by these two institutions. 

Read the full story on Edsurge here. 

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