Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- In a June 7, 2011 SFGate.com blog post, Erica Sandberg asks a question certain to be weighing on many college grads' minds: "In student loan hell? Here's how to get out." "Now, I've been overt with my passion for personal responsibility -- you borrow the money, you repay the money. If you can't, make a supreme effort to do the right thing: request deferments or forbearances. Be a grown-up and follow through. However, I also know that good people sometimes default. And when that happens, they should be able to pay the loan back without too much consternation. However, many loan holders make getting back on track bizarrely difficult."
- A June 7, Huffington Post article asks a related question: "Is Increased Debt Inflating The Self-Esteem Of Recent Grads?" "'How did American culture shift to the point where everyone is totally fine with carrying such large amounts of debt?' asked Michelle Barnhart, an assistant professor of marketing at Oregon State University. Earlier this spring, she completed a study that examined how Americans became burdened with five-figure credit card bills and 'mortgage payments up to their eyeballs.'"
- Apropos the recent passage of "gainful employment" rules directed at career colleges, a June 7, 2011 reports on the protestations of one American senator, Iowa's Tom Harkin. "For-Profit Colleges Game Student Loan Defaults, Harkin Says." "Iowa Senator Tom Harkin said for-profit colleges work to delay student loan defaults to maintain their eligibility for federal aid, which makes up as much as 90 percent of the companies’ revenue."
- Of course, the cavils of Harkin and company have done little to dim the red holidays for-profits are enjoying. "Triumph of the Bill: PSCU Stocks Soar in Response to Hobbled “Gainful Employment” Regs." "[F]ears of government oversight are now a thing of the past as the free market speeds on, sweeping up thousands of students without impediment. No longer will for-profit schools have to concern themselves with whether or not their students can pay back student loan debt."
- Meanwhile, the U.S.'s neighbor to the north, Canada, has been contemplating the expansion of online education, if for no other reason than it's brick and mortar institutions find themselves stressed. "Schools increasingly unable to meet course needs of students." "[Education committee chairman Jamie Brennan] said online courses are acceptable substitutes in some cases but not in all, so the district must explore ways for students to have access to the courses they need."
- A June 6, 2011 Digital Journal Piece presents the "Top 10 Online Computer Science Degrees in College Affordability Rankings from Non-Profit Universities." "GetEducated.com, a consumer research group that publishes online college rankings along the dimensions of cost and credibility has released its list of the top affordable online computer science degrees for distance learning students nationwide."
- Get ready for the most general of general studies. A June 7, 2011 U.S. News and World Report article brings word that an "Online University Offers Master's Degree in Creativity and Innovation." "Drexel University Online recently announced in a press release that it has launched a Master's degree in Creativity and Innovation. The program will be offered through the Drexel/Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation within Goodwin College: School of Technology and Professional Studies."
- U.S. representative Virginia Foxx warns in a June 6, 2011 post on The Hill that "New 'gainful employment' rules will hurt students by reducing choices and limiting access." "If these “gainful employment” rules make sense—and I happen to think they don’t -- then they should be applied to every last institution that is a recipient of federal student aid. Singling out a group of colleges for burdensome regulation because of a few bad actors amounts to giving a pass to the rest of the higher education world while punishing the group of for-profit schools. It’s been said that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If these regulations were allowed to stand or were proven to work, why not apply them to all higher education institutions?"
- It looks like folks in the Old World are getting in on the for-profit education act. "School Britannia: Startup U.K. For-Profit College to Feature All-Star Faculty." "EducationInvestor.co.uk reports that a group of academics is about to launch a new for-profit college. Christened The New College of the Humanities, the school will offer students degrees under the auspices of the University of London. Students will be taught by top academics, the likes of which include scientist Richard Dawkins and historian Niall Ferguson."