Reporter’s notebook

Kentucky task force to coordinate FAFSA strategy

The cascading effects of the problems with rolling out the revamped FAFSA system has prompted the president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to create a task force to ensure the system’s 16 colleges best serve their students with information about the process.

“While KCTCS cannot control the federal financial aid process, we are actively doing all we can to make it understandable and accessible for our students in a timely manner,” President Ryan Quarles said in a press release. “This task force demonstrates our commitment to our students and to doing everything we can to ensure that those from all socio-economic backgrounds have an opportunity to pursue their education with KCTCS.”

Typically, by March 20 the system has already received Free Application for Federal Student Aid data for 35,000 students, Quarles said. To date for the current year, KCTCS has received just over 7,000 records.

“With stats like this, you can understand the potential impact this disruptive rollout may have on our colleges and current and future students,” he said.

KCTCS said the task force will:

  • Develop and implement a communication plan for KCTCS students.
  • Provide estimated financial aid notifications for new and returning students.
  • Monitor the impact of FAFSA simplification and provide recommendations for strategic enrollment actions.
  • Anticipate short-term and long-term implications of aid notification and award delays and provide solutions.

For low-income students, in particular, the uncertainty about available aid may lead some to delay or forgo college, negatively impacting their lifetime earning potential, according to KCTCS. About 80% of credential-seeking students at the system’s colleges received some form of financial aid in 2023.

Michigan college to offer supply chain management degree

Oakland Community College (OCC) will launch an associate degree in supply chain management this fall to meet the needs of the field’s growing job demand.

The online degree program will cover the various systems of delivering products and services around the world, according to the Michigan college. Students will learn all aspects of supply chain management including working with data, logic, economic trends, contracts and business practices.

“The need for skilled supply chain professionals spans across all industries from technology to agriculture,” said program director Eboni Mathis. “These careers are pivotal in ensuring the smooth transit of goods across the globe.”  

The program will cover core subjects such as supply chain fundamentals, introduction to logistics, manufacturing theory, and purchasing and procurement. Students also will have an opportunity for hands-on learning through internships.

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