Education

Education, schools, and learning

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

We first told you about Ireana Bernal in our documentary, College Material. Today's story is an update

This is a story of a dream on the verge of coming true and of what comes after.

It’s a story of a young woman in Holland, about to start her first semester of college.

I first met Ireana Bernal about a year ago. She was just starting her senior year in high school. Her high school years started out rough, but she’d been trying to turn it around. She still wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But the people around her all believed in her. People like her counselor, Mitch Veldkamp.

"She has this self will," Veldvamp told me. "Something in her that’s a little fire that started," he said.

That little fire grew all last year, as Bernal applied for college. 

It’s been months since I’d talked to Bernal. We met at a coffee shop in downtown Holland, right across the street from Hope College.

This is where she will be starting school next week.

user John Patrick Robichaud / flickr

We've said it before, but it bears repeating: filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, or the FAFSA, can be a pain in the butt. But at this point, there's no way around it. If you're hoping to get some federal grants or financial aid to help offset the costs of college, then you're going to have to fill it out.

As my colleague Dustin Dwyer noted in a story he did earlier this year, even the U.S. Department of Education acknowledges there are serious problems with our country's financial aid system.

flickr.com/dcjohn

Bettina Love is an author, scholar and education professor at the University of Georgia.  She is also an upcoming fellow at the W.E.B Dubois Research Center at Harvard University

I came across a talk by Love today, and, well, it kind of blew me away. I've been thinking for a while now that hip-hop is an under-utilized tool in schools. But Love's argument here is the strongest case I've seen so far. It's worth watching 'til the end. 

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Brian Whiston is the new guy in town at the Michigan Department of Education, and it looks like he's got poverty on the brain. Whiston and the state Board of Ed early this week convened a group of folks from around the state to share their ideas for how to improve academic outcomes for all students, especially those in poverty.

U.S. Department of Education

Proposals for making college debt-free have become all but mandatory for Democratic candidates on the presidential primary campaign trail. Hillary Clinton rolled out her plan at a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Monday.  Called the “New College Compact,” the proposal would cost $350 billion over 10 years.

By Leffler, Warren K., photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Last weekend, This American Life ran a powerful, heart-wrenching story of how segregation continues to haunt the American education system. If you haven't yet heard it, you should definitely make some time to listen. TAL billed it as the first of two stories they have on the topic. So, while I was sitting around waiting for the second part to come out, I decided to dive a little deeper into some of the research behind last week's story. 

In light of yesterday's State of Opportunity story, I thought it might be fun to share this New York Times article where former college freshmen give advice to incoming freshmen. The tips range from academic (where to find the best YouTube math and chemistry tutors), to personal hygiene (when you're stuck, take a shower), to study tips (always make an outline for a paper). What advice would you give to someone about to start college?

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

If you graduated high school in June and college doesn’t start until fall, probably homework is the last thing on your mind during summer. But for some recent high school graduates, the summer before college is filled with homework, study groups and workshops.

That's how Chelsie Thompson's summer is shaping up. Thompson is 18 years old and she insists everyone (including reporters) call her "Phancie." She’s from Melvindale, a small, working-class city just outside Detroit, and she's spending seven weeks of her summer on the campus of the University of Michigan, taking three college courses for credit and learning her way around the university. 

 Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

It’s summer, so let's head outside!

This week and next week on State of Opportunity, we're going to explore the great outdoors. We'll start at the Hull's Trace unit of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe. It sits right at the mouth of the Huron River and was a key site in the War of 1812.

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