Florida’s legislature has approved the expansion of its Bright Futures merit scholarship program for in-state students. If signed by Governor Rick Scott, the bill will make 100,000 students eligible for waivers of 75-100% of tuition at state schools.

The American Hotel and Lodging Company (parent of Wyndham hotels and Red Roof Inns, among others) has partnered with education company Pearson to develop a program to cover or heavily subsidize tuition for the hotel system’s employees. A hotel executive told the Wall Street Journal the program aims to improve the “bench strength” of employees on managerial tracks.

Oregon’s unemployment rate is at a record low, while Kentucky‘s is at the lowest since 2000.

Target has raised its starting hourly pay from $11 to $12.

A survey of 350 Texas business executives indicates more than half of them plan to expand employment in the coming year.

Times Higher Education reports “elitism is alive and well in most UK universities,” noting that “where you live and where your family comes from still determine your access to a university education.”

But how non-elite is this: Online learning platform Coursera has announced its first program for a Bachelor’s degree (in Computer Science), in partnership with the University of London. The next cohort for the 3-4 year program begins in April, 2019.

Blame Google Translate? An analysis by the Modern Language Association reveals college-level enrollments in foreign language classed decreased 9.2% between 2013-16. However, the study of Japanese and Korean increased. The MLA’s analyis also indicates that only 7.5 out of every 100 students are enrolled in foreign language study, which is an all-time-low ratio. The ongoing report has not yet offered theories to explain the decline.

A journal article recommends that Nigeria move towards a paperless higher education system, saying this is a “twenty-first century trend” which would make the gathering of information faster, cheaper, and more actionable.

Although we recently read that Gen Z loves Instagram, we’re now being told that Gen Zers are “breaking up with social.” A survey found 58% of respondents “want some form of relief from the overwhelming barrage they encounter on social sites.”

In a related development, the Stanford Students Against Addictive Devices have appealed to Apple to offer an “essential mode” setting with its iPhones–effectively dumbing down a smartphone into a less distracting device. We think “essential mode” is a concept with lots of potential beyond phones!

And in other essential Gen Z studies, we learn of the rise of “Grocerants” (rhymes with “fonts” rather than “pants.”) This unfortunate neologism aims to describe the growing trend of providing restaurant services within grocery stores. Somehow, this development is supposed to be beneficial for Big Potato.