This Fall in Higher Education

Summer vacation is officially over in Washington, D.C. Congress is not likely to do much – it’s back in session for a brief window before heading out until after the November election. But the Obama administration enters its final leg with a number of regulations, decisions and new policy initiatives to handle – many of which should shape up for a busy fall in the postsecondary education policy space.

Here are the administration’s hot higher education topics to keep in mind as we move toward cooler weather.

Remaining regulations. While the Obama administration is unlikely to undertake any new regulatory efforts in its final months, it has several key rules that still need finalizing. This includes significant rules that affect online learning and protection of students who have been defrauded by their colleges. The administration has to work fast – rules need to be published before Nov. 1, 2016, in order to take effect by July 1, 2017.

The so-called “borrower defense” regulations are the most important to keep an eye on. These rules create a clearer process for borrowers who were defrauded by their college to discharge their debt. This matters a lot for borrowers stuck with debt they cannot afford – particularly students who attended the now-shuttered Corinthian Colleges. But all colleges will be eyeing these rules carefully, because they also create requirements for institutions to face additional financial requirements if they are caught engaging in questionable behavior.


10 Online Bachelor’s Programs With the Highest 6-Year Graduation Rates

Enthusiastic college graduates throwing mortarboards overhead

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.

Online learning offers a flexible option for those who want to juggle work and family responsibilities with an undergraduate education.

But students in some online programs are more likely than others to earn their degree within six years, according to U.S. News data.

[Discover what employers think about your online bachelor’s degree.]

Among the 102 schools that submitted these data to U.S. News in an annual survey, the University of Missouri—St. Louis was the only online bachelor’s program where all students who entered in the 2008-2009 school year completed the program in that time frame.

A majority of the 10 online bachelor’s programs with the highest rates – seven – werepublic universities; the remaining three were private schools.

In contrast with those online programs, St. Louis University is an example of a school falling on the opposite end of the spectrum, with just 9.1 percent of enrolled students finishing in six years.

[Explore five tips for interacting with professors as an online student.]

Below are the 10 online bachelor’s programs with the highest percentages of students starting in 2008-2009 who graduated in six years or less. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.


4 Things to Know About Online, For-Profit Education

Beautiful woman sitting on the sofa with a laptop

When choosing an online program, Krishna Jackson of La Mesa, California, wanted flexibility, access to a campus and a bachelor’s degree in communications. Her education through the University of Phoenix, which combined online and on-site coursework, gave her all of that, she says.

While online, for-profit programs face criticism for low graduation rates and questionable recruitment practices, the recent alumna says she was satisfied with her education.

“I had to consider a program where I could work and go to school, and I could jump right in,” she says.

She also considered San Diego State University but says the application required more preparation. She was able to apply and start at the University of Phoenix almost instantly.

Even as enrollment in online, for-profit programs falls, some students like Jackson still find value in pursuing these degrees. Experts say quality varies in the sector, just as it does among online programs at public and nonprofit private universities.

[Explore ways to vet a for-profit online program.]

“I don’t know if the corporate designation alone really tells you much” about overall quality of an education, says David Deming, a professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education who researches for-profits. “I’d look more at the substance of the school and what it’s offering.”

Though prospective online learners should evaluate programs individually, they should know these four facts about online, for-profit education to determine if it’s right for them.

1. The application process is often less competitive than at public and private universities. As Jackson experienced, admission to an online, for-profit program was easier and quicker than it is at a traditional university, either on-ground or online.

In many cases, online programs are less competitive than on ground because physical space constraints typically don’t limit enrollment, says Kevin Kinser, professor and head of the education policy studies department at Pennsylvania State University, who studies for-profit schools. But this is even more so the case among for-profits, he says.

At public and private nonprofit universities, “There’s more of a tradition of selectivity in admissions, in making sure students have the ability to succeed in the online environment, that may result in there being a more restrictive admission policy compared with the for-profits,” Kinser says.

Many online, for-profit undergrad and some graduate programs have open admission, meaning those who meet specific requirements are generally admitted, experts say. That’s the case for programs at all levels at the for-profit Kaplan University, which offers online and on-campus programs, says Sara Sander, dean and vice president of the school’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This approach makes sense for for-profits because they make more money by enrolling more students, Kinser says.

Deming, from Harvard, says for-profits might also attract those who find the application process more complex, like first-generation college students.

2. Some have close connections to employers. Though employers overall hold mixed opinions about online, for-profit programs, many for-profits foster relationships with companies to make jobs more accessible to alumni and help shape their curriculum.

[Learn how employers view online, for-profit bachelor’s degrees.]

Kaplan, for example, partners with companies that provide externships for students, Sander says. These companies then might send their employees to Kaplan to advance their careers.

The University of Phoenix also collaborates with employers to determine what industry-specific skills to teach students, says Ruth Veloria, executive dean of the business school.

“We are very focused on that career relevance in the content,” she says.

These employer relationships used to be very common among for-profits, and then for a while “sort of faded away,” Kinser says. Now they are becoming popular again.

“Institutions are being held accountable for the employment of their students after they graduate in ways they weren’t previously,” Kinser says.

3. Online, for-profit programs are more likely to be nationally than regionally accredited.Many experts say employers prefer degrees from regionally-accredited schools, as do reputable public and private universities – which are usually regionally accredited – when it comes to course credits, if a student transfers.

Some major for-profits do have regional accreditation, however, Kinser says.

Applicants should determine which organization accredits an online program – information that usually can be found online – and see what other schools they accredit before enrolling, Deming says.

“I think it’s fair to say, if schools are not regionally accredited, it’s because they couldn’t get regionally accredited, and so they’re only nationally accredited,” he says.

[Discover what to ask before enrolling in a for-profit online program.]

4. Students may be less likely to develop a regional job network. While career supportvaries among online, for-profit programs, these institutions may be less likely to provide students with the local job connections they might get through public or private universities, whether on campus or online.

“Public and private nonprofits tend to be very focused in a particular community and have long histories in that community,” which might benefit students looking for a job where they’re living, Kinser says. Many of today’s online students, he says, pick programs based near their home for access to on-campus resources.

Trying to fund your online education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for Online Education center.


What Your Gym Attire Tells Me About Your Life


Sandals of any fashion

You are lost and eligible for free lunch at the senior center. You thought you were going to pick up your cousin from the airport. Oh look, a seat. Cool, this chair has moving parts. You are working out — not correctly or efficiently. More important than the single tendon in use is that you are in every single person’s way, but are too oblivious to realize it. When people ask you if they can utilize the machine for its intended purpose — you stare blankly, as though there is a two way mirror separating your faces. WE SEE YOU.

Button down shirt

Once the sight of your button down shirt hits my eyes, it is automatically assumed that you came straight from work, overly caffeinated and stressed, to the gym. Button down bowflexers are sweating before they start moving. Yea, your heart rate is up and that is wonderful, but it might explode. Take a night off. Go run the streets screaming about stocks, or whatever you’re falsely passionate about at the moment.


You are actively drunk. I enjoy sunglasses guy/gal because nothing on earth would be more refreshing in a dank, crowded, sweaty gym than cracking open an ice cold can of PBR. Carry on. But don’t touch me.

Door knocker earrings

These girls only do cardio. And I say girl because if you wear 5 inch diameter bamboo earrings to a cardio kickboxing class, you have the courage, stupidity and inherent disregard for surrounding human eyeballs that only a child possesses. So enjoy your uncomfortable, impractical gym ensemble. And when I get Lasik I can read what snarky, grammatically incorrect saying your shirt that you stole from the mall says. Bless your heart child, for you are our future. ::ahem, Darwin::

Full face of makeup

Bye. In addition to the RuPaul-at-an-awards-show quantity of paint on your face, you are probably/definitely showing the vast majority of skin on your body and/or wearing those shorts that go up your crack. Stretching deliberately in an awkward place. Pretending you don’t want attention.

In addition to the above atrocities — I have witnessed the following:

A woman in a full suit and coat walking a treadmill. Just walk outside where this is acceptable.

An open family size bag of chips on the floor, Twix wrappers, etc. You’re conflicted. Go home.

Pets. PETS. Why would you bring a bird to the gym?

What strangeness have you encountered at the gym?


Cute Workout Clothes Under $50 To Give Your Fitness Fanatic Friend

The top New Year’s resolution is always the vow to lose weight or get into shape. And for us, this year is no different. After quickly polling the HuffPost Lifestyle editors to see what they really wanted for the holidays, “cute workout clothes” was on almost everyone’s list.

And when it comes to exercising we just want to sweat, look good while doing it, and try not to go bankrupt in the process. Is that too much to ask for?

Nope! We’ve pulled together some fabulous fitness gear for under $50. It’s time to give your loved ones (or yourself) the gift of oh-so-stylish health.
  • Old Navy
    To buy: Old Navy “Go-Dry” pullover, $28.
  • Under Armour
    To buy: Under Armour “Mid” sports bra, $25.
  • Gap
    To buy: Gap “Breathe” tee, $35.
  • MyHabit
    To buy: Head “Prisma” leggings, $22.
  • Adidas
    To buy: Adidas by Stella McCartney media player armband, $40.
  • Athleta
    To buy: Athleta “Parkour” gloves, $39.
  • Nike
    To buy: Nike “Signal” top, $30.
  • American Apparel
    To buy: American Apparel nylon gym bag, $24.
  • New Balance
    To buy: New Balance “Accelerate” running tights, $50.
  • Adidas
    To buy: Adidas “Battle of the Birds” hoodie, $45.
  • Nordstrom
    To buy: Zella “Z5” top, $25.
  • Nordstrom
    To buy: ToeSox “Bella” half-toe studio socks, $16.
  • Victoria’s Secret
    To buy: Victoria’s Secret “Lightweight” bra, $38.
  • Amazon
    To buy: MBJ fleece hoodie, $23.


ADAY Makes Clothes That’ll Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

If you’re one of the many people whose New Year’s resolution is to get in shape, then you’re probably in the market for some workout gear that’ll motivate you to go to the gym. In which case, you’ll want to know about a new activewear company that is going to help you do just that.

Meet ADAY, a London-based brand founded by Nina Faulhaber and Meg He that creates clothing that works for the gym and for real life. Basically, there’s no need to bring a change of clothes after your workout, as their pieces can take you from your pilates class to the office … and then to dinner (just don’t forget to shower in between, ahem).


“The ADAY woman is a smart, busy woman with things to get done — her most scarce resource is time,” says Sonia Gupta, Director of Global Operations at ADAY. “Wearing ADAY all day doesn’t require you to pack several changes of clothes for all the different musings of your day — it’s one outfit that can tackle anything and be ready for the unexpected,” Gupta continued.


Right now, the line is available for purchase on the brand’s site, and while you might assume that the pieces look like ordinary workout clothes, they actually look more like ready-to-wear garments. In fact, we would sooner liken them to designs by Acne, Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim, rather than Lululemon or Nike.


The line starts at $18 for cashmere-and-wool socks and goes up from there. Tank tops clock in around $50, while leggings and track pants are in the $95 range. These prices may seem a little steep, but the high-performance fabrics ensure that you won’t be replacing your gear every couple of months — these pieces will last for years.

Now you’re out of excuses not to hit the gym.


Fashion Designers Are Getting Their Hands On The Athleisure Trend

The term “athleisure” is a fairly recent addition to the fashion vernacular. Gym-to-street clothing — or more specifically I-just-want-to-look-like-I-went-to-the-gym clothing — is having a major moment. A year ago, Beyonce announced that she’ll be collaborating with Topshop on an athleisure collection, and fashion designer Alexander Wang has become an icon for his casual-yet-luxe look.

Well, the aesthetic has caught on, and more and more designers are taking the activewear plunge. In the past six months Mara Hoffman, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch and Derek Lam (in partnership with Athleta) have all launched athleisure lines.

Hoffman, who has already found success with extending her business to swimwear, says that tacking on activewear was the perfect next step.

“My girl is already within this lifestyle. It’s part of her normal daily activity,” Hoffman told The Huffington Post. “And if not, she’s into wearing the prints — she’s into wearing the silhouettes — and she can just wear them when she’s out and about.”


The Evolution Of Workout Clothes Shows How Far We’ve Come Since 1910

As functionless as it sounds, this was the going exercise garb in the early 1900s, way before spandex and wicking fabrics were the norm. And while the first sneakers were invented in the 1800s, they didn’t truly trickle into the mainstream until the 1930s, after World War I, when the importance of fitness began to be emphasized.

We’ve come a long way since button-ups and bloomers. Check out Mode’s video above to see the evolution of women’s workout gear, then give your favorite sneaks a run for their money.


Xiaomi Mi 5s with ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, dual cameras leaks ahead of Sep 27 launch

Xiaomi Mi 5s with ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, dual cameras leaks ahead of Sep 27 launch

Ahead of its probable unveiling on September 27, the Mi 5s has been leaked in all its glory , giving out key design elements of Xiaomi’s upcoming flagship phone. The leaked images, seemingly confirm two long-rumoured features of the Xiaomi Mi 5s. First up is the circular home button up-front, much like it is in the case of Apple’s iPhone. Moving on, the leak also confirms that the Mi 5s would invariably come with a dual camera setup on the rear.

The Mi 5s will reportedly come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sense ID built right in to the home button. The technology — that was unveiled by Qualcomm in March last year — essentially allows manufacturers to embed the fingerprint sensor within frames or panels, instead of relying on dedicated areas, like the home button.

The company is also said to be working on a technology similar to Apple’s 3D Touch for quite some time now. The Mi 5s will reportedly come with a 3D Touch-like feature.

The leak also suggests Xiaomi may also have a plus-sized variant for the Mi 5s up its sleeve. The Mi 5s Plus will reportedly come with 6GB of RAM and 256GB internal memory. This variant will also come with a dual camera setup on the rear.

Rmour has it that the Xiaomi Mi 5s will come with a 5.15-inch screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clubbed with up to 6 gigs of RAM and up to 256GB of internal memory. The dualSIM phone will reportedly sport a 16-megapixel OIS camera on the rear alongside USB Type-C port and a 3,490mAh battery with support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.

The report also adds that Xiaomi will start selling the Mi 5s – in China – two days after launch, which means from September 29.