higher education

Ras Asan

Derrius Quarles and Ras Asan are co-founders of the education funding start-up Million Dollar Scholar.

Growing up in Chicago with few resources, Derrius Quarles shocked everyone when he took the initiative and won over a million dollars in scholarships and awards to attend college. As an undergraduate at Morehouse College, he met Ras Asan, and the two decided to take Derrius' know-how to more students who could use it.

For the first time in months, LSU System President F. King Alexander was able to relax a bit over the weekend.

“I spent it with our daughter, at her soccer tournament Saturday and Sunday.”

Last Thursday, Louisiana’s full House passed some revenue raising bills, alleviating some of Alexander’s worry that no solution to the $1.6 billion budget deficit – and the crippling cuts looming over higher education – would be found. Today, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to add that additional funding into the budget bill, with the bulk going toward higher education.

Alexander says the situation appears brighter than before, but, “We’ve got a long ways to go. We’re not there yet.”

Eve Abrams

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services helps people tackle civil legal issues for a stronger, safer, better life.

James Welch is a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, and two days a week he works at a place called Single Stop.

“We have so many students who come in here when they just need a rest, a place to come where no one is snarling at them,” laughs Welch. “Unfortunately, it’s tough. This is like an oasis.”

Louisiana’s House Appropriations Committee has been asking every agency to present their worst-case scenario when showing up for budget hearings. Wednesday, the committee got the grim prognosis—full force—from higher education.

“Higher education would be reduced by $600-million. That’s an 82-percent reduction from 14-15,” legislative budget analyst Willis Brewer stated.

Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock

The number of Louisiana students entering college has risen, according to new data from the State Department of Education.

More than 22,000 public school students across the state enrolled in two- and four-year colleges last fall. That's an all-time high, and an increase of six percent from the year before.

Looking at New Orleans alone, the increase in college-bound students was even higher — a 15 percent jump from the previous year.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe and surrounding community opened the doors to its new International Student Center Tuesday.

The center was funded by a donation from ULM alum Eric Liew.  Liew, a CEO for a medical supply company, says the house provides many conveniences for students when they first arrive at the university.  "A large kitchen to prepare their favorite foods, TV viewing areas, bedrooms, laundry area, all convenient," says Liew.

“You have to remember what you may be losing in the higher education system as you go into deeper cuts,” warns Public Affairs Research Council president Robert Travis Scott.

Scott addressed the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, focusing on PAR’s new report, “Innovation in Louisiana”, which analyzes state support for university research programs. Those programs bring in grant money up front, and licensing revenue from patents for years afterwards. Scott notes that continued state budget cuts to higher education are impacting the amounts and numbers of research grants Louisiana’s universities are able to access.

Legislators Urged To Support Higher Ed

Mar 30, 2015

Legislators, city officials, and business leaders spoke to University of Louisiana at Monroe students, faculty, and community members about proposed cuts to the state's public colleges and universities.  The forum was hosted by the ULM Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government Association.

The sciences are tough enough. For students of color, studying science, technology, engineering or math can be particularly daunting.

At LSU over the last decade and then some, Isiah Warner has been leading efforts to help those students make it from high school all the way through graduate school. And it seems to be working.

The graduation rate for African American undergrads who’ve gotten scholarships and mentorship through a program called La-STEM is 86 percent — by comparison, it was just 60 percent for the LSU campus overall among last spring’s cohort.

Warner is now Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives and Boyd Professor of analytical and environmental chemistry.

As an African American growing up in Bunkie, his enthusiasm for science was unusual — to say the least.

Imagine this: it’s a cool autumn Saturday night, and there’s no football in Tiger Stadium. In fact, there’s no LSU football at all, because the state’s flagship university is closed for the year. LSU System President F. King Alexander says the possibility is real.

“This budget reduction is so large, we’d have to furlough everybody for an entire year,” Alexander told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

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