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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Although tuition costs continue to rise and student loan debt remains at sky-high levels, a college education still offers higher earning potential and greater financial opportunity in the long run. Yet without ways to help mitigate the extravagant costs, fewer families can afford to enroll their children in college. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees at a private, nonprofit, four-year university was $31,231 in 2015. For public four-year schools, tuition and fees accumulated to about $9,139 this year.1 American families and students still realize the long-term benefits of a college degree, which leaves many students and families forced to borrow funds to meet the steep costs. The total cost of borrowed funds from loan programs averages $100 billion a year, and the outstanding total student debt stands at more than $1.2 trillion. Forty million borrowers incur an average balance of $29,000, and with the average entry level position paying $42,963,2 and a high unemployment rate of 11.9 percent for recent college graduates ages 20-24,3 they are left holding debt with limited means to repay.4
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Next week, Penn Foster will head down to Washington D.C. to take part in the National Job Corps Association (NJCA) 2015 Leadership Summit. The event, held November 2nd " 4th, brings together over 200 leaders of the NJCA representing all 126 Job Corps centers to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Job Corps in the upcoming year.
The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has sparked debate about alternative education programs for states. Policymakers are currently convening to explore ways in which schools can be incentivized to improve rather than be forced to improve, regarding title IV funding. Both sides of the aisle are interested in investing in non-traditional learning models, with a greater focus on outcomes vs. access to education.
Penn Foster is happy to be returning to the Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) Annual Conference for a second year. Held from November 9th - 11th in The Woodlands, TX, this three-day event gives career college administrators from Texas and surrounding states the opportunity to learn about a variety of industry issues and network with fellow postsecondary education leaders. This year's conference celebrates "Mission Possible: Driving Outstanding Career Education for the 21st Century," and will feature sessions on accreditation, government regulation, and admissions.
Sixteen to 20 percent of students suffer high levels of anxiety before a test, and another 18 percent struggle with moderately high anxiety, making it the most common cause of poor educational performance, according to the American Test Anxieties Association.1 A variety of issues with teachers, study environment, subject matter and motivation can also contribute to poor test performance. High school teachers can't control all these factors, but we can help our students better prepare for tests by addressing some of the most common causes of test anxiety and poor performance.
Parental involvement in student life is proven to improve education performance,1 but it tends to taper off in the high school years. Some of this is only natural - as children grow into teens, it's normal for a bit of distance to develop between them and their parents. In lower grades, parents are often required to attend parent-teacher conferences and sign off on report cards and homework, but this doesn't always continue into the higher grades. We think it should - more parental involvement in school correlates with higher grade point averages and further sets students up for success.
Each year, the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) Conference gives member institutions the opportunity to learn about accrediting changes, and share best practices with one another. ACCET strives to promote quality-oriented continuing education and training through the establishment of standards and through their support of an independent accrediting commission. This year, the conference is hosted from October 26-28 in Hershey, in Penn Foster's home state of Pennsylvania. Below we've put together a list of must-see attractions for visitors to the Keystone state.
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High school graduation rates continue to improve and remain on track to meet a national goal of 90 percent by 2020, according to the latest Building a Grad Nation report, released annually by a coalition of educational organizations.1 The graduation rate for the 2012-2013 school year hit 81.4 percent, the highest since states adopted a new method of calculating graduation rates in 2010. Advances by black and Hispanic students help account for this trend. However, national gains are distributed unevenly among school districts, and graduation rates remain unacceptably low in some areas for low-income, English-language learning and special education students.
Turning promising leads into new students is a delicate process. Leads have a variety of higher education options and require a certain level of nurturing before they can choose which college to enroll in. As part of the recruitment process, your school can administer a lead nurturing strategy to help inform prospective students about your college and the programs you offer; ensuring they're choosing the school that best meets their needs. Use these six best practices to improve your school's lead nurturing process:
While warm summer days are quickly fading behind us and we embrace the change in seasons and brisk months ahead, Penn Foster continues to proudly celebrate our 125th anniversary. Over the course of our 125 years as a leader in the distance education space, more than 13 million people have enrolled in Penn Foster's high school, career school, and college.The mission remains the same, from the past to the present: provide affordable, quality learning solutions designed to augment people's skills, and ultimately improve their employability. As one of the nation's largest private high schools, Penn Foster High School enrolls 60,000 students and graduates over 20,000 each year. In order to reach such a wide-spread student base, our partnerships are pivotal to the success of our program. Our partnerships with nonprofits, youth organizations, career colleges, public and private high schools, school districts and employers work to deliver education where it is needed most.

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