DC Digest – November 17, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • Duke Elections Series Ends By Looking Ahead to 2016
  • National Coalition Urges Strong Research and Higher Ed Funding
  • Higher Ed Urges Support For Climate Science
  • College Board Releases Report on Student Aid and College Costs

 

DUKE ELECTIONS SERIES ENDS BY LOOKING AHEAD TO 2016
The final installment of the seven-part Duke Election Discussion Series took place last week, with a discussion focused on summarizing what happened during the midterms and what it means for 2016.  The conversation featured Neil Newhouse (T ’74), a top Republican pollster, and professors Nick Carnes and Sunshine Hillygus.

Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, alumni, and students involved in making this first-of-its-kind series a success.

Read More:
Duke Elections Series Ends Looking Forward to 2016 (governmentrelations.duke.edu)

NATIONAL GROUPS PUSH FY15 OMNIBUS IN LAME-DUCK TO “CLOSE THE INNOVATION DEFICIT”
Some 133 national organizations sent a letter to all Members of Congress on November 12 urging them to enact an omnibus FY15 appropriations package during the lame-duck congressional session that provides strong funding for research and higher education, and, thus, helps Close the Innovation Deficit.

The letter, sent by the Coalition for National Science Funding, is part of a larger advocacy push – launched by the group of business, higher education, scientific, patient and other national organizations – which aims to secure greater investments for research and higher education programs and agencies in the final FY15 funding package.

Read More:
CNSF Letter (pdf)

ASSOCIATIONS URGE APPROPRIATORS TO SUPPORT FUNDING FOR CLIMATE SCIENCE
A group of 20 higher education and scientific associations sent a letter to Senate appropriators on November 10 urging them to sustain funding for the climate sciences in FY15 appropriations.

The groups asked Senate appropriators to reject a number of House-passed appropriations measures and amendments that would defund or reduce federally funded climate research and restrict the availability and use of climate information. “We urge you to continue your support of the climate sciences for the benefit of the American people,” said the letter, “by restoring funding for climate research and dropping all climate research riders and prohibitions in the final FY2015 appropriations legislation.”

Read More:
Letter to Sustain Climate Sciences Funding (pdf)

COLLEGE BOARD REPORT ON STUDENT AID AND COLLEGE COSTS
The College Board released its annual report on student aid and college costs last week. Despite a widespread notion of a student debt crisis, the report finds that student borrowing is not on an accelerating path. Total education borrowing fell by 8 percent between 2012-13 and 2013-14, and by 13 percent over the past three years, according to Trends in Student Aid. The average amount borrowed also is on the decline: In 2013-14, undergraduates borrowed an average of $6,670 in federal loans, approximately $300 less than the year before, and a 10 percent decline over the most recent three years.

The companion report, Trends in College Pricing, found that while tuition and fees did increase in 2014, the rate of growth has slowed notably. At public four-year colleges, published in-state tuition and fees increased by 2.9 percent, as compared to 2.8 percent in 2013—the smallest one-year increase since the mid-1970s. The increase for private nonprofit four-year institutions was 3.7 percent in 2014, while community colleges saw a 3.3 percent increase.

Read More:
Trends in Higher Education (collegeboard.org)
College Tuition Prices Aren’t Skyrocketing. Hooray? (Vox.com)