HEat Index, Issue 13 – FAFSA Outreach, AI Concerns, and State Funding Increases



We’re back talking about a new FAFSA effort, as well as hearing about student perspectives on AI. We’re also discussing state funding, but from two different perspectives this week.  

After reading today’s issue, use the comments section to let us know if your institution is implementing AI policies! 


New FAFSA Update 

From Education Department boosts FAFSA outreach efforts to close completion gap | Higher Ed Dive   

While the FAFSA release has been chaotic, The Department of Education (ED) is actively trying to ease the pain for students and families with new outreach efforts.    

Our Thoughts 

Here we are with another FAFSA update, but this time we’re looking into a new way ED is trying to address the chaos. With the new FAFSA rollout being a grueling process for many, ED has implemented a way to provide more technical and outreach support for students and their families.   

With a $50 million investment in organizations that are providing this help for the problematic FAFSA process, ED is determined to boost application completion rates, which are currently down 24% compared to last year. Hopefully, these continued efforts to address the ongoing FAFSA challenges will help students and families get the financial support necessary for their education and increase FAFSA submissions at your institution. 


Student Concerns with AI  

From College-bound students concerned about AI skills | Inside Higher Ed   

A new poll shows that college-bound students have concerns with AI usage and its possibility of creating a more competitive educational landscape.   

Our Thoughts  

As the conversations about AI in the higher ed space continue, a new poll showing college-bound students’ perspectives on the ethics and competitive environment that AI creates is something to think about. Out of 1,300 students surveyed, 55% of them said they were somewhat or strongly worried about other students’ AI usage and the effects it could have on their admissions to their school of choice.  

Hearing students’ perspectives around AI is an important part of this conversation, especially if they feel concerned about the possibility of being disadvantaged. Institutions not only need to weigh the pros and cons of the potential academic dishonesty that comes with AI, but they also need to consider the concerns of their students.   


State Funding Increase 

From State and local funding for higher education rose 3.7% in FY 2023 | Higher Ed Dive & State Support for Colleges Continues to Rise as Federal Aid and Tuition Revenue Fall, Report Shows | The Chronicle of Higher Education  

The Chronicle of Higher Education and Higher Ed Dive both discuss the increase in state and local funding by 3.7%, but they convey their messages very differently.    

Our Thoughts 

For the second time since 2008, state funding for public institutions has risen by 3.7%, which is amazing to hear. The Higher Ed Dive article places a specific emphasis on how these additional funds show a commitment to higher education and help ease budget restraints, while The Chronicle article focuses on the struggle that institutions are going to face.  

The reason why I am covering these articles together is to show the clear language difference that each publication uses. Generally, The Chronicle article has an overall negative tone, and you can see this when they write, “The former [stimulus dollars] will continue to decrease, and the latter [shrinking enrollment] could have worrying long-term ramifications.” Comparing that to the Higher Ed Dive article which states, “Despite the enrollment declines, many public institutions have been enjoying increases in public funding support.” you can clearly see the difference in approach. Despite sharing the same information, the overall feel of the two articles varies, which is why it’s important to get your news from diverse sources.  

Marketing Coordinator at Evisions

Maya Kvesic is the Marketing Coordinator with Evisions, based in southern California.  A proud graduate of California State University Long Beach, she earned her B.A. in psychology in 2023 but has always had a passion for writing. Beyond the world of marketing, Maya finds joy in outdoor activities and finding new places to eat.

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