Texas A&M has a record number of students enrolled this fall – 66,426. That figure includes 15,647 Hispanic and African-American students and nearly 6,000 international students. Nearly one quarter of the freshman class are first in their family to attend college. “Setting record enrollment is not one of our goals, but we are obviously pleased that so many young men and women want to pursue their college careers at Texas A&M,” said University President Michael K. Young.Continue Reading
Pay it Forward
In an effort to increase access to higher education, schools around the state are changing policies to help students more seamlessly transition from community colleges to four year universities. Texas A&M recently formed a partnership with Austin Community College, just one of several colleges around the state that now serve as pipelines to the flagship’s engineering school. Co-enrollment programs have existed for several UT System institutions, and Texas State, Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M now offer programs as well. These programs help defray the cost of attending college, and serve as a less intimidating on-ramp for students who may have trouble finding initial success at a four-year institution.Continue Reading
"They taught me how to learn and how to keep on learning.”
There are many ways to measure an institution. Often rankings subjectively measure topics such as “reputation” as determined by an institutions’ peers, or “best of” lists can emphasize everything from sports to Greek life to top academic programs. All of these measurements can help students determine the right academic fit for them, but a relatively new ranking highlights what an institution does for the world. And there’s nothing subjective about Reuter’s ranking of theworld’s most innovative universities, which measures an institution’s efforts “to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy.” The methodology used is an objective look at data including “how often a university’s patent applications were granted; how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities; and how often the university's patents were cited by others.” And in this ranking, The University of Texas System just hit the number four spot – in the world – just behind Stanford, MIT and Harvard. This ranking affirms an earlier acknowledgement System researchers received this year for having the fourth most patents granted globally from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2015 – 191.
'Robin Hood' for Higher Ed?
As budget battles in the Legislature heat up, the question of whether or not lawmakers will tap into the Rainy Day Fund continues to be a hot topic of discussion at the capitol – and on the state’s editorial pages. The Eagle this week laid out the case for why lawmakers should access the fund for public and higher education needs, saying the fund should “not be sacrosanct” … “It would be a shame to let our students suffer because of a refusal to dip into the Rainy Day Fund.”Continue reading
Read my lips: No More Bills
Friday was the last day for Texas lawmakers to file a bill this legislative session, which brought about an expected flurry of activity. One bill, filed by Rep. J.M. Lozano, would limit higher education benefits for the children of veterans, a controversial issue killed in the 2015 Session. When lawmakers passed the provision (the Hazelwood Act) to allow veterans to pass their benefits to their dependents, it predicted a $10 million price tag – a figure, it turns out, was dramatically underestimated. The cost in 2015 was $178 million and is expected to increase. The state only picks up 20% of the tab, leaving the universities to pay for the rest. Lozano’s bill would limit benefits to veterans who served four years or more, and would expire the benefit 15 years after an honorable discharge, so it would only apply to kids born while their parents were on active duty.Continue reading