Interesting Policy Reads: Phishers Try to Gain Access to Federal Financial Aid Data, FCC Broadband Maps, and Virtual Reality in Foreign Language Education

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This post includes articles on a recent GAO report examining FSA's monitoring of third parties' cybersecurity practices, a phishing campaign targeting federal student aid data, Penn's new online bachelor's degree offering, and FCC broadband maps.

With our "Interesting Policy Reads" blog posts, the EDUCAUSE Policy Office highlights recent articles on federal policy issues and developments that are directly relevant to members or provide insights on higher education policy in general.

  • Government Gets Poor Marks Securing Students' Personal Info, Nextgov, September 17, 2018. (A recent Government Accountability Office report found that Federal Student Aid isn't effectively monitoring cybersecurity problems among third parties, including private student loan lenders and collection agencies.)
  • Education Department warns that students on financial aid are being targeted in phishing attacks, The Washington Post, September 15, 2018. (Federal Student Aid has received numerous reports from institutions that attackers have tried to gain access to students' financial aid information through a phishing campaign.)
  • An Elite Online Bachelor's Degree, Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2018. (The University of Pennsylvania announced that it will launch an entirely online bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences; the university already offers various master's degrees online.)
  • How Bad Maps Are Ruining American Broadband, The Verge, September 24, 2018. (The FCC's broadband map relies on data submitted to the agency by Internet Service Providers, but some question the accuracy of the data, noting that the FCC does not audit the information.)
  • Google Curriculum, College Credit, Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2018. (Northeastern University and twenty-five community colleges are now offering credit for Google's new online certificate program aimed at students interested in working in entry-level IT roles.)
  • Pushing the Boundaries of Learning With AI, Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2018. (The Mandarin Project is a partnership between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and IBM that places students in a virtual reality where they can practice Mandarin in a simulated world, allowing them to perform activities such as ordering lunch in a restaurant.)
  • Tech Executives Voice Support for National Privacy Law, The Washington Post, September 26, 2018. (At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, executives from tech giants including Apple and Google expressed support for a national consumer privacy law.)

Kathryn Branson is an associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2018 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.