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Articles / Campus Life / Parent PLUS Loans, Impressive 2021 Grads, and Declining Enrollment: CC Weekly News Roundup

June 11, 2021

Parent PLUS Loans, Impressive 2021 Grads, and Declining Enrollment: CC Weekly News Roundup

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Parent Plus Loans Can Be Risky Investment

More parents are taking out loans to help their children pay for college. But do these loans pay off?

One-quarter of all federal loans taken out are parent PLUS loans that are being taken out by parents to help their children pay for college. The amount of parent PLUS loans held is up 40 percent since 2014, but these loans can often have high interest rates and inflexible repayment plans that can leave borrowers with mounting debt that they can’t afford to pay. According to a New York Times article, one couple took out $220,000 in Parent Plus loans to help their two children pay for college; they now owe close to $500,000.

Spring 2021 Undergrad Enrollment Down 4.9 percent, 727,000 students

The steepest declines are among community college and male students

This Spring saw a major dip in the number of students enrolled in college. A new report by The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicates that overall undergraduate college enrollment is down 4.9 percent, or 727,000 students. Community colleges experienced the biggest enrollment drop by far; the two-year public schools saw a 9.5 percent decline in enrollment. The next largest drop was private for-profit colleges, which saw a 1.5 percent drop. Men make up a larger percentage of those who are opting-out of college. At community colleges, enrollment for men dropped a staggering 14.5 percent, while enrollment for women was down 6 percent. Mamie Voight, interim president of Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), believes the decline indicates the need to find better ways to support lower-income students in earning a degree.

California Student Accepted To 21 Colleges, including 4 Ivies, With $2.4 Million In Scholarships

The 21 college Marquez Sanchez was accepted to include four Ivies

Salinas, California student Jorge Marquez Sanchez was accepted to an impressive 21 colleges, with $2.4 million in scholarship offers. Marquez Sanchez was the valedictorian of Everett Alvarez High School. Among his 21 acceptances were offers from Stanford, UCLA, UC Berkley, Yale, Cornell, and Williams, but he chose to attend Harvard, where he was offered a full-ride scholarship.

North Carolina Student Receives 17 College Acceptances, 500k in Scholarships

Saniya Lyles maintained a 4.5 GPA even after losing her mother suddenly to a heart attack

Greensboro, North Carolina senior Saniya Lyles was accepted to seventeen colleges this spring and over $500,000 in scholarships. Lyles, who lost her mother to a heart attack last year, maintained a 4.5 GPA despite the family tragedy. She told CBS news, "I'm super excited...But still, in the back of my mind, I'm like, 'Wow, I wish she could be here to see me do this and see me doing good.'" Lyles was accepted to Elon University and High Point University, but she will be attending Fayetteville State University next fall.

Harvard-Bound Student Requests Her 40k Scholarship Be Given to a Community College Student Instead

Verda Tetteh requested that her $40k award be given to a student who needs to more

Mississippi high school student Verda Tetteh got a standing ovation during the Fitchberg High School graduation ceremony when, instead of accepting her $40,000 scholarship, she asked that the “General Excellence” award be given to someone else. Tetteh, who will be attending Harvard in the Fall and already won a prestigious state scholarship, said she was honored by the award but is not the student most in need of the money. Tettah could have used the $10,000 per year towards expenses other than tuition. Instead, she asked that the school give it to a student attending community college. Tetteh worked at a grocery store throughout high school, and says she was inspired by her mother, who graduated from a community college at 47 years old.

Watch the moving moment here.

St. Joe’s Merging With University of the Sciences

The new school will enroll over 9000 students

St. Joseph’s University, a 170-year old Jesuit University in Philadelphia, PA, is moving forward with its plans to merge with the city’s 200-year old University of the Sciences (formerly Philadelphia College of Pharmacy). The newly-merged schools will both use the St. Joseph’s University name, however UScience’s Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Samson College of Health Sciences will become schools within the University. Once the merger is complete, the school will enroll over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, employ close to 450 faculty, and have an endowment of over half a billion dollars.

Rhodes College Will Charge Unvaccinated Students $1500 a Semester

The money will cover the costs of frequent COVID tests

The Chronicle of Higher Education has currently identified 488 colleges and universities that are requiring Covid vaccines for Fall 2021, but some colleges are taking a different approach. Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee will be charging unvaccinated students $1500 a semester to cover the costs of weekly COVID testing. Unvaccinated students will also be required to wear masks.

Written by

Joy Bullen

Joy Bullen

Joy Bullen is College Confidential's Senior Editor and Head of Content. She is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she majored in English and Creative Writing. She also earned a master’s in Psychology from The New School for Social Research in NYC.

Before becoming a full-time writer and editor, Joy coached thousands of prospective and enrolled college students on admissions and academic and career success. She also managed a team of academic and career coaches and consulted with universities on how to create programs that have better outcomes for students.

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