Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- Kids with high GPAs can now learn college acceptance fate PDQ. "High-achieving seniors tapping Common app to reach dream colleges," the Salt Lake Tribune reports. "At the center of Maves’ journey are her laptop and the Common Application, the one-stop process that enables students to apply to several colleges at once. Students fill out a single form and submit just one set of transcripts and test scores, one essay and one set of recommendations. It has become hugely popular since its launch in 1975 by 15 prestigious schools."
- When the student body becomes a flash mob, can Skynet be far behind? "Virtual Stanford Class Goes Viral, 58K Sign Up," reports Newser. "Last year, Stanford's Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class drew 177 students. This year, a free online course on artificial intelligence will boast 58,000 -- almost four times the size of the prestigious university's entire student body. The course is one of three being offered by Stanford's computer science department in an attempt to innovate Internet learning and make technology education available to the entire world. It's being taught by two of the best-known experts on the subject—both of whom aren't quite sure why the class has become so popular. But, 'the vision is: change the world by bringing education to places that can’t be reached today,' says one."
- "Where Does Disruption Begin? With Teachers Who Teach Teachers," Mind/Shift asks (and answers) rhetorically. "Google, the world’s go-to for answers, has an idea for the most impactful place to start. Last week, the company’s educational overseers organized the Google Faculty Institute, to which they invited the faculty from California State University (CSU) schools of education. The mission: to show those who teach teachers the most effective, useful, and helpful digital tools."
- Cui bono? "Private Profits, Public Benefits: A Defense of Career Colleges." "One high-profile individual rallying to PSCUs’ defense is Anthem Education Group chairman and Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities board member Jim Hutton. As Hutton sees it, amidst the various charges hurled at career colleges -- that they target vulnerable populations, that they siphon off huge amounts of federal financial aid, leaving poor students debt-strapped and thus poorer, that they have created the conditions for a massive bust in the higher-education market as wave after wave of students default on their loans -- is lost one important fact: Career colleges extend the very educational opportunities denied certain categories of students by the private-nonprofit and public institutions."
- Bubble trouble ahead? "CBS MoneyWatch reports,"Borrowers pulling back -- but not on student loans" "Total student loan debt was $550 billion at the end of the second quarter. That's up 25 percent from $440 billion in the third quarter of 2008 when total household debt was at its peak, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total household debt, by contrast, has since declined by almost 9 percent to $11.42 trillion from $12.50 trillion."
- Playing for keeps. U.S. News and World Report presents "10 Colleges With Highest Freshman Retention Rates." "Among the 1,303 institutions that offered freshman retention rate data to U.S. News, the average retention rate is roughly 75 percent. The data provided in a 2010 survey of schools is a four-year average that covers freshmen entering college from fall 2005 through fall 2008 who returned to school the following fall. According to the data, 137 schools had a retention rate of at least 90 percent during that time period."
- The borrows of young Werther. "Higher Ed 101: The ABCs and 123s of Financial Aid." "It goes without saying that anything that’s borrowed will need to be repaid. And such is the case with student loans. Students should therefore include this eventuality in their college plans. They should, for instance, decide whether a 4-year degree is ideal for them or a 2-year degree or certification would be better. After all, the shorter the time in school, the fewer the amount of money that needs to be borrowed."
- American Public Radio's Marketplace discusses "Student loans and a stagnant economy." "Among the most troubling effects of the economic stall and moribund job market is how hard it hits young college graduates. These are the people with the knowledge and the skill to grow the economy with energy and innovation. Yet more and more college graduates will continue to struggle repaying their loans."