Linkpile for Thursday, December, 15, 2011:
- A December 14, 2011 Credit.com blog post negotiates the ins and outs of Defaulting on Private vs. Federal Student Loans." "It’s a simple equation, really. Expensive College + No Jobs = Student Loan Defaults. With sky-high tuition, an anemic economy and a tight job market, America is approaching the $1 trillion mark for outstanding student debt (surpassing even credit cards). That means more and more people are having real trouble paying back their student loans."
- When it comes to digital distance college education, the glass is definitely half-full ... and on its way to completely full. "Bring out Your Best: Bright Prospects for Online Higher Learning." "Online universities have been popping up like mushrooms over the past decade. And, like mushrooms, they are tremendously varied, running the gamut from institutions that specialize in professional credentials and certifications, to for-profit, nonprofit public and private universities that confer bachelor's, master's, and even doctoral degrees. For those averse to venturing onto a college campus, opportunities for higher education achieved remotely have never been greater."
- "Occupy Student Debt Campaign’s Student Loan Default Pledge Falters," reports a December 13, 2011 NextStudent.com article. "[R]elatively few borrowers have shown interest thus far in the plan to engage in mass student loan defaults after achieving 1 million signatures. While some college faculty members and other non-borrowers have agreed to sign the pledge in support of the borrowers’ position that sweeping defaults are the only way to achieve higher education financing reform, experts have characterized the high-stakes pledge drive as risky at best and financial suicide at worst."
- A December 13, 2011 Washington Post article brings notice of "The 10 lowest college graduation rates in D.C., Md. and Va.." "There is seemingly universal agreement in higher education that college completion rates aren’t high enough. Yet it’s difficult to find anyone pointing fingers at a particular college. Lawmakers lament the low graduation rates of students who receive federal Pell grants, the largest source of federal student aid to low-income students. Yet to criticize a college with a large Pell student population and a miniscule graduation rate is thought to be bad form."
- Throwing sand in the gears of the digital distance learning locomotive: "Faculty call for the suspension of online initiative," reports a December 12, 2011 Sonoma State Star article. "Both the resolution petitioning the creation of CSU online and CSU online itself are in their early stages. For now, it will remain unknown when and if CSU online will be created and what effect academic senates fight against it will entail."
- A December 14, 2011 Business Insider article offers 10 Tips For Zapping Student Loan Debt "Even the most ambitious college grad might have some trouble getting excited about this one: repaying student loans. And with the average graduate leaving college with $27,204 in student loan debt, that day is sure to come for many a young professional. So yeah, maybe you’d rather poke your eye out than think about repaying your loans. But if you don’t spend some time figuring out your best strategy, you might be making higher repayments than absolutely necessary."
- File under "Really?": "Cheating by online students a concern," reports a December 12, AZCentral.com article. "Cheating occurs in every school, but the freedom and lack of monitoring in online classes sharply increases the potential for cheating and plagiarism. It's not only students who are tempted to cheat. Parents of online students must log the hours their children spend learning online and doing homework offline. The log is used by schools to collect state funds and can be used to monitor the time a student spends on lessons. Parents can exaggerate or lose track of the hours."