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With the recent changes to the FAFSA, scam artists are targeting students who need help filling out the form. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently initiated claims of $5.2 million in damages against one company, Student Financial Aid Services, Inc., alleging that they promised students free help but then charged recurring fees to their credit cards.1,2 Unfortunately, this is only one example of numerous scams currently targeting students.
Attracting, recruiting, training and retaining employees can be costly endeavors for any organization. Supporting and encouraging employee development is a great way to lower these costs, especially in industries with high turnover rates. To help build a workplace of engaged, motivated workers, encourage your employees to pursue promotions, further their education and make improvements in areas of weakness.1 Industry giants such as Starbucks and Home Depot have implemented generous employee development benefits. Fiat/Chrysler recently expanded their partnership with Strayer University to provide free college for all employees and their immediate family members.2 These companies know that better educated employees make for better employees. Attract and retain top talent by giving them a compelling reason to grow with your company.
Filling out the FAFSA is one of the biggest barriers for students trying to fund their college education. The form asks more than 100 questions in an attempt to determine student aid eligibility, and while it only takes an average of 20 minutes to complete once the necessary paperwork has been assembled, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell called that "19 minutes too long."1 Students and their parents get intimidated by the FAFSA's length and complexity, making it tempting to procrastinate until they miss deadlines.
At Penn Foster, we hear inspiring stories every day about how our graduates have overcome tremendous odds to achieve their goals. Though most of our students may be considered "nontraditional' by conventional standards, we serve them because we believe that quality, affordable education should be a right, and not a privilege. Now, with new data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, we're seeing a shift in what's considered "traditional' in the current undergraduate student population in the United States. Penn Foster has been serving the needs of "nontraditional" students for over 125 years, starting out by offering correspondence courses through weekly newspapers, to a brick-and-mortar school, eventually transforming into the online school it is today.
2015 was the year of student outcomes for the education industry. Ed tech, school districts, career schools, colleges, and youth organizations alike took a step back to review the educational landscape holistically. Stakeholders raised important questions on the future of education: how can we revise current policies and structures in order to benefit students directly? How will technology begin to play a pivotal role in the classroom? How do we reframe what it means to be a "traditional' learner, to ensure students of all ages, demographics, locations, and socioeconomic backgrounds get the education they need to succeed? Below are the ten most popular posts from Penn Foster Partners in 2015, that help provide some answers to these poignant questions:
American education evolved into its current system by adapting to advancements in technology and changes in the labor market. Penn Foster's history is rooted in response to and growth from these very same changes. Our career-oriented courses not only provide vital training to American workers looking to advance their careers and quality of life, but they reflect the education and training needs of the American employment market and help employers fill important jobs with skilled workers. Penn Foster's offerings reflect America's education and employment trends over the last 125 years and highlight the vital role we continue to play in equipping today's students to become tomorrow's workforce.
Because innovations in technology and changes in career practices occur so often in certain industries, the people working in those fields frequently must return to school for continuing education. About 44 percent of adults participate in some form of continuing education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics ("continuing education" includes skills training, work-related courses, personal interest courses, apprenticeships, ESL courses and part-time degree programs).1 This is a sizable amount of potential students, and it can be of great value for career colleges to offer these "refresher" classes to students.
Recently, Wal-Mart began piloting an initiative to train entry-level service workers through a 6 month blended learning program. The corporation will implement this training program nationwide in more than 4,500 U.S. stores in early 2016. Most notably, this program fundamentally challenges the company's well-known mantra of low-costs and efficiency by developing a new model based on investing in workforce development. This shift has tremendous implications for millions of entry-level workers across the service industry, especially for the retail, foodservice, and hospitality spaces.
All college students experience at least some stress during their college career. Most students get stressed while learning how to juggle personal responsibilities with coursework, for example, and as final exams approach. But stress levels for certain college students can soar during such times, and without resources to cope or get help, they become at risk for a variety of physical and emotional side effects. Their academic performance may suffer as well and, if it goes on long enough, they may decide to leave school.
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The White House recently announced two major changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, designed to make it easier for students to apply for aid:1

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