- Zero Down For College?- BusinessWeek looks at an innovative new idea developed by Fix UC, a group in California that is part of the UC system. Fix UC thinks college students should be able to pay for college by giving 5% of their annual salary to their alma mater for the first 20 years after graduation. This approach would mean parents don’t have to save up for college for their children’s college educations, and the university would be making an investment in its students that would get paid off overtime. Yet it is unlikely that Fix UC’s plan will get carried out, because it has many hurdles and would lead colleges to invest only in producing high-paid graduates (meaning no more English majors).
- Why Does The Price of College Keep Rising?- The Chronicle of Higher Education looks at why the price of college keeps rising each year at a faster rate than inflation. The answer: people will pay anything to go to college. Although it has been proven that there is a lifetime payoff for individuals with college degrees, that fact still does not mean that the prices of all colleges are worth it. With people now tightening their belts, colleges will have to prove why they are worth students’ life savings if they want to continue raising prices over the next few years.
- E-Textbooks On The Rise- Inside Higher Ed reports that colleges are increasingly trying to strike deals with textbook companies to create e-textbooks that are more affordable for their students. For example, Internet2, a consortium of 221 colleges and universities, has struck deals with Box.com, McGraw-Hill, Wiley & Sons, Bedford, Freeman and Worth, W.W. Norton &Company, Flat World Knowledge, and Hewlett-Packard to get affordable discounts for their students. Universities have more power to broker these deals than their students, and many believe that it is a school’s responsibility to negotiate those discounts. These partnerships also benefit the textbook companies because they cut into the second-hand textbook business that hurt their sales.
- College Students Still Getting Hit By Recession- The Chronicle of Education looks at how the recession has hit college students trying to hold part-time jobs. A working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that while college students used to work an average of 11 hours per week in 2000, they were only working an average of 8 hours a week in 2009.
- Vassar Takes Back Acceptances- The New York Times reports that 76 early decision applicants to Vassar College were outraged when they found out they had received acceptance letters BY MISTAKE. Although Vassar has apologized and offered to reimburse students their $65 application fee, some parents believe Vassar should be forced to accept these students because early decision applications are binding. While these parents do not look like they are going to get their way, Vassar acknowledges that it was a terrible mistake and has offered to “explain the situation” to other schools that students may have withdrawn their applications from as a result of this mishap.
- Stanford Gets A Makeover- The Chronicle of Education reports that Stanford University has decided to transform its curriculum, encouraging students to focus more on critical thinking and less on taking courses in specific disciplines. While the Faculty Senate still needs to review the changes, the goal of this shift is to allow students to develop skills that will enable them to “adapt to a changing world after their formal education has ended.” The recommendations being made to the Faculty Senate focus on freshmen having exposure to many different learning environments and adding a series of course offerings called “Thinking Matters” to the freshman curriculum.
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