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The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the finances of many Black Americans, including student loan borrowers. Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college grads, and over 50% of Black borrowers say their net worth is less than what they owe on student loans.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill Wednesday to pay four historically Black colleges and universities $577 million to settle a 15-year legal battle to address chronic underfunding.

Yesterday, CBS This Morning teased an interview with Tim Cook in which the Apple CEO would be making a “big announcement” concerning not an Apple product, but a new initiative from the company.


 

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

A group of scholarship providers for Native American students on Wednesday released a report detailing their first national study on college affordability for Indigenous students. Researchers surveyed 1,607 current and 1,182 former scholarship recipients in 2020 and conducted interviews and sharing circles with 96 current and former students in 2021 to gain a better understanding of their financial barriers.

The study found that 72 percent of current students surveyed reported they had run out of money at least once in the last six months, and 67 percent said they were responsible for helping with family bills. Half of all participants reported choosing where to go to college based on overall cost of attendance.

The report, funded by the Lumina Foundation, was a collaboration between four Native American scholarship providers: the American Indian College Fund, the Native Forward Scholars Fund, the Cobell Scholarship and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

“We want the American public and policymakers to understand the unique barriers faced by Native students as they pursue their education dreams,” Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said in a press release. “These barriers can be removed through continued investment via scholarships, tuition support, and supportive partnerships. This study provides a foundation from which to explore those investments.”

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Colleges should make good on the promises they have made about diversity, equity and inclusion and actually do the work of making real change, Sydney Freeman Jr. writes.

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Stat of the Week: The Girl reports that among the first-year students in the Honors Humanities program at UMD this fall, 68 are women and two are men.

It struck me as the sort of number that belongs in Harper’s Index.

I knew that gender segregation by major remains very real, even after all these years. I expected more women than men in the program. But I wasn’t quite prepared for a ratio of 68 to two.

Move-in day is next week. Stay tuned …

My thanks to the wise and worldly readers who wrote in response to my plea for tips on ways to ensure that prior learning assessment credits transfer smoothly.

A rough consensus emerged. For credits verified by a third party—AP, IB, CLEP, DANTES, etc.—the picture isn’t bad. For more bespoke assessments, it really takes a legislative mandate, particularly if the students transfer before graduation.

The good news is that several readers reported that when the public institutions were mandated to accept the credits, the local private ones mostly followed. They weren’t legally required to, but to be competitive, they did. If a mandate leads to a round of “follow the leader” on transfer credits, that’s a win, even if it would have been preferable to get there voluntarily.

The Wife and I both have September birthdays. The kids will be at college in September, and it would be a bit much to ask them to come back for those, so we did early celebrations this week.

The kids are on tight budgets, for obvious reasons, so I had to keep gift requests modest. My request this year was that on the night we celebrated mine, I got to choose the movie we’d watch, and everyone would watch it without complaint.

As regular readers know, my tastes lean toward comedy. And as a parent, I feel a responsibility to expose the kids to the classics of our culture. So we watched Eddie Murphy’s remake of The Nutty Professor.

I hadn’t seen it in years. Jada Pinkett’s character was embarrassingly underwritten, even for a ’90s comedy. But broad slapstick holds up pretty well. I even caught both kids laughing during the dinner table scenes, which were what I most remembered about it.

There are classics, and then there are classics.

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Thursday, August 18, 2022
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