Linkpile for Wednesday, November 2, 2011:
- A November 1, 2011 Forbes article asks a question sure to be weighing on many a college grad's mind>: "Obama To The Rescue On Federal Student Loans, But What About Private Loans?" "Obama’s new student loan relief plan makes federal debt burdens manageable, but what’s to be done about private debt? A sizeable chunk of education debt is owed to private lenders, who charge far higher interest rates and promise none of the borrower protections that come with federal loans. As of 2010, there’s an estimated $168 billion in outstanding private loans. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) aims to make the education lending market much more transparent with its Know Before You Owe project, but for those already knee deep private debt, there is little recourse."
- Republican presidential candidates show themselves no friends of President Obama's proposed student-debt relief plan."Republicans drawing groans on student loans," observes a November 1, 2011 opinion piece in The Daily Texan (the student newspaper of the University of Texas–Austin). "Student loan reform should be a top priority for government in the next several years, at least because such debts are an increasingly untenable burden on U.S. graduates. Republican candidates should face increasing scrutiny on their proposals that affect so many UT students."
- On OCtober 31, 2011 The Pasadena Star-News offered Our View: Online education and universities." "Change is rough. Academia is as hidebound in its resistance to change as other organizations – or more so. Online learning is definitely part of the mix for our educational future. But we have to keep the humans in the humanities. And the sciences. And everything else. A mixture of online lectures and seminars with all hands on deck sounds to us like the best mix for higher education in the online age."
- Weighing in on the side of online education is an October 30, 2011 North County Times article, "FORUM: Online education increases opportunity for all." "To stay competitive with other states and nations that are embracing the latest technology in their schools, California needs to do the same. We want our kids reaching for the stars, and we want our schools to help them get there.
- Before online education wins legitimacy, it needs a public-image makeover. "Shady Business: The Online MBA's Image Problem." "The remedy therefore lies in upping the perceived value of degrees obtained online – not only for business programs, but for others such as criminal justice and legal studies as well. Doing so will only improve the quality of the workforce by adding to the stock of qualified candidates. After all, digitization in so many areas of the economy has increased overall demand for highly skilled workers. When so much opportunity knocks, it's depressing to think that many will not be able to answer the door because of certain ingrained biases with regard to the means by which they obtained their credentials."
- A November 2, 2011 Columbia Free Times article asks, Open Laptops to Close Schools?" " With an election year coming up and only a slight up-tick in tax collections, plugging more money into online education may be low-hanging fruit. But remember, education isn’t necessarily an efficient process. It comes in fits and starts as students wrap their minds around ideas they didn’t want to consider. Remember algebra?"
- "Education Dept. issues ‘urgent’ warning about aid fraud in distance learning programs," reports an October 21, 2011 Washington Post article. "Last month’s report said investigators had detected 'an increasing number of cases involving large, loosely affiliated groups of individuals' who are engaged in this type of fraudulent activity. The letter just sent to schools said investigators expect fraudulent activities to continue and that was why it was warning schools to beware."