PLUS Loan Basics for Parents

Your child is going to college or career school—that’s great! But you may have questions about how to pay for it. If your child hasn’t completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), ask your child to complete it today. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives your child access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school, including loans YOU can receive.

Read More

How Schools are Reducing their Environmental Impact, Improving Health, and Cultivating Stewardship Values- 2019 Green Ribbon Schools Announced

Today the U.S. Department of Education named the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country there are 35 schools including 25 public schools, 3 magnet schools, 2 charter schools, 10 nonpublic schools, and four postsecondary institutions that are recognized. Thirty-six percent of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. These honorees employ innovative practices and policies to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

Could your school be the next U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School? Here are a few ideas from the 2019 honorees:

Read More

Apprenticeship – An Unexpected Choice Becomes the Path to Success

Kevin stands outside on graduation day in a red cap and gown holding his diploma

Everyone assumed Kevin King would graduate and head straight to college.

“I was your stereotypical AP student,” he notes. “Straight A’s through middle school, almost straight A’s through high school … I was the guy you would look at and say, ‘He’s going to college.’ It was just a matter of which one.”

As it turned out, Kevin picked a different path – one that perfectly fit his goals and interests. His struggle wasn’t figuring out what he wanted to do – it was coming to terms with the fact that what he really wanted for himself was different than what others expected of him.

Read More

“Workforce Development for All”- ED Take Your Child to Work Day

Assistant Secretary Scott Stump speaks in front of children and parents in an auditorium.

Rethinking education for the 21st century means recognizing that learning can happen anytime, anywhere – far beyond the boundaries of the school day or a brick and mortar building. Secretary DeVos has challenged the nation to question everything, to ensure that nothing limits students from being prepared for what comes next. Here at the Department of Education, we believe in putting our principles into action – and we’ve taken the Secretary’s challenge to heart. Yesterday, more than 180 children joined their family member at the Lyndon B. Johnson Building to learn about  skills used on the job and to think about where their talents can take them in life.

Read More

3 Ways Education Freedom Scholarships Could Support Military Families

Secretary DeVos and Congressman Scalise talk with four male students in uniform over a project they are working on at their desks.

April is “The Month of the Military Child,” and serves as a reminder that military children serve our country alongside their parents and face challenges that most other students don’t think about, let alone experience themselves. Each military child deserves the chance to flourish in an education environment that best leverages their unique learning style and cultivates their talents. Unfortunately, while service members fight and defend our freedoms abroad, military families are too often denied education freedom at home.

The Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) proposal would make a historic investment in America’s students, injecting up to $5 billion yearly into state-based scholarships to empower families with education freedom. Under the proposal, taxpayers who make voluntary contributions to state-identified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) will be eligible to receive a non-refundable, dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Those contributions will fund scholarships that families can direct to the education opportunities that best serve their child.

Here are the top three ways EFS could support military families:

Read More

2 Years Was the Path For Me in CTE

A male students stands with his arms crossed wearing glasses, a white bottom down shirt and a black kitchen apron.

There are many young adults who find it very difficult to identify their career passion and explore how to turn that passion into a successful career. That was me, until I discovered my high school’s Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program. This program helped me discover my passion for Culinary Arts. My culinary class was the class I would look forward to every day, because it is what spoke to me and what I wanted to pursue as a career. It was my participation in this program that introduced me to Career and Technical Education (CTE) and helped me understand what FCS and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) were all about.

Read More

Combating Substance Abuse in Schools

A digital tablet reading 'substance abuse' sits on a table with glasses, a laptop and other medical supplies

In recent years there have been significant increases in alcohol, drug and substance abuse across the country. This abuse has significantly impacted K-12 school-age students as well as those pursuing postsecondary education.

To help combat substance abuse in schools, the Department of Education has developed webinars designed for State-, district- and building-level administrators, teachers and specialized instructional support personnel interested in supporting students and families impacted by the opioid crisis.

In recognition of this year’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) scheduled for January 22-27, 2019, the Department is sharing the signs and strategies to help identify and support impacted students below. To view the webinar on this important topic, click here.

Read More

Time to Play and Learn: The 2019 ED Games Expo at the Kennedy Center

A designer stands over a table with the Happy Atoms game and explains it to 3 students in front of the table.

Game-based learning is gaining popularity in education as more young people and adults learn from games both in and out of the classroom. Well-designed games motivate students to actively engage in content that relates to coursework and master challenging tasks designed to sharpen critical thinking, problem solving, employment and life skills.

Every year, the ED Games Expo promotes game-based learning though the display of exciting educational games and technology. With the 6th Annual ED Games Expo taking place next week, here are 5 things to know about this year’s Expo:

Read More

It’s Time to Rethink Career and Technical Education

Four gentlemen, including Assistant Secretary Stump, sit on stage as one presents from a projected powerpoint slide. Attendees are listening to the presentation at round tables.

A recent state reported data set on CTE participation shows only 8 million of America’s 15 million high school students participate in a CTE course in a given year. Additionally, only 1 in 5 high school students chose to concentrate in a CTE program of study. At the same time, the numbers of transfer students at community colleges are outpacing those enrolled in CTE certificate or associates degree pathways. This results in an America where employers face a profound skills gap and students carry $1.5 trillion in financial aid debt. Too few students are taking advantage of CTE educational opportunities that lead to great jobs and careers. It is time for Career and Technical Education in the U.S. to be the nimble, demand-driven talent development system that it is meant to be.

Read More

10 Fun Ways to Encourage Learning this Winter Break

With the holidays quickly approaching, winter break is a time of celebration and relaxation. While the time away from school provides a well-deserved break for your student(s), it also provides the opportunity for significant learning loss. Keeping your student(s) learning this holiday season can be fun and easy while ensuring they return to school both revitalized and ready for a new year of learning.

Read More