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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

The TX college conundrum: Long-term vs. short-term rewards

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Monday, February 19, 2024   

Texas is making progress in the percentage of individuals who complete higher levels of education, but still lags behind the national average.

College graduates typically earn more and have lower unemployment rates than workers with only a high school diploma.

But increased costs paired with student debt has some parents and students wondering if it's the right path for them.

Journalist Nick Fouriezos covers the role of college in rural America for Open Campus.

"The cost-benefit analysis changes when you have such a higher percentage of a person's eventual earnings being taken up by student loans," said Fouriezos. "There's just no doubt about it, that they have to think in those terms, 'Is this going to pay off for me?' "

According to Lumina Foundation, the national education attainment rate among adults 25 to 64 years old reached just over 54% in 2022 - the most recent year for which data is available.

The Texas rate was 50.5%, with the state working toward a goal of 60% for working-age adults by 2030.

Experts say those debating whether a four-year program, community college, professional certificate program or a trade school makes the most sense should first consider what loans and scholarships are available.

Texas Tribune education reporter Sneha Dey said families she talks to about the issue also weigh the pros and cons of immediate versus delayed advantages.

"They're not just thinking about the tuition that they have to put down, but they're also considering is this pressure that they face to make money right away," said Dey. "So, when you go to college you are also deferring the immediate wages you could be making from these near-minimum wage jobs."

Some U.S. colleges have stepped up to mentor local high school students and are finding other creative ways to engage with their local communities through partnerships and community service.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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