Daily Debriefing

by Alison Polton-Simon | 11/30/10 11:00pm

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to a ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld Virginia regulations that ban alcohol advertisements in college newspapers, Inside Higher Ed reported. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, The Collegiate Times and The Cavalier Daily the newspapers of Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, respectively challenged Virginia's alcohol regulatory board rules, claiming that they restrict the First Amendment rights of student newspapers and advertisers, according to Inside Higher Ed. The suit also argued that the regulations would cause significant financial harm to the papers, costing them each approximately $30,000 a year, Inside Higher Ed reported. The 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in April, which reversed a lower court's decision, conflicted with a 2004 ruling by a Pennsylvania appeals court, which found that comparable restrictions violated the First Amendment, according to Inside Higher Ed. The Virginia appeals court upheld the state's ability to ban alcohol advertisements in school newspapers on the grounds that it is a reasonable way to combat illegal underage drinking.

A new study found that increasing need-based financial aid leads to a rise in tuition and fees, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. A report by Bradley Curs, a professor of higher education at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and Luciana Dar, a professor of education at the University of California at Riverside, found that when states increase merit-based aid, both public and private universities increased the cost of tuitions and fees, according to the study. Curs and Dar believe that the institutions could restrain costs to better attract the most qualified students, The Chronicle reported. The study focused on the ways in which states may or may not be spending effectively to expand access to college and increase graduation rates, according to The Chronicle.

The national high school graduation rate rose from 72 percent in 2001 to 75 percent in 2008, The New York Times reported. In the introductory letter to the Civic Enterprises report, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the country is "turning a corner in meeting the high school dropout epidemic." From 2002 to 2008 the number of so-called "dropout factory high schools" nationwide fell by 13 percent, from 2,007 to 1,746, according to the report. Overall, 29 states experienced an increase in graduation rates, while 18 had essentially no change, the study found. Only three states Arizona, Nevada and Utah saw sizable decreases in the number of students completing high school, according to the report.