Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- On June 21, 2011 the KUOW 94.9 FM show "The Conversation" featured a discussion of distance learning in higher education: "Your Online Education." "Tuition in the state's colleges and universities is jumping way up and admission is getting tougher, so many people are turning to online education. The state's only online, nonprofit fully accredited university, Western Governors University Washington, recently opened after being created by the Legislature."
- A June 15, 2011 article on the UK's Socialist Party sees red over the prospect of for-profit higher education in Merry Old England. "To hell with for-profit education." "Rising fees, scrapping EMA student payments and devastating cuts to further and higher education budgets will mean that working class young people have little to no chance of a decent education."
- Yet no amount of political agitation's going to keep career colleges down. "Austerity Measures: Career Colleges Seek to Weather Regulation Aftermath." "The Chicago Tribune reports that the Career Education Corporation was enjoying record enrollment -- and record profits -- last year until the deluge of negative publicity and increased government scrutiny slowed the rate of student enrollment. The company announced in January that it intends to lay off 600 workers."
- A June 15, 2011 McClatchy article reports, "Students, lawmakers question value of for-profit colleges." "A government investigation from last year found practices such as overly aggressive recruiting, where school representatives barraged potential students with phone calls, gave false information about a college's accreditation, potential salary and job opportunities after graduation, and doctored federal aid forms. Investigations have also noted that tuition at for-profits can cost thousands of dollars more, even as much as 30 times the price of comparable programs at community colleges."
- A June 21, 2011 CBS Money Watch piece counsels recent college grads on the finer points of debt service. "Student Loans: When It's Pay Time." "[H]ow quickly do you want to repay your student loans? You generally have four options, ranging from 10 to 30 years. Of course the quicker you pay off your debt, the less interest you’ll pay. But it may be difficult to make large monthly payment on a low starting salary. And if tackling these debts keeps you from investing in your employer’s 401(k), or paying off your credit cards, you should definitely consider an extended repayment period."
- Also on the subject of higher education costs: a June 15, 2011 Fiscal Times article sounds the alarm. "Hidden Costs of College Raise Total to Extreme Levels." "Numbers don’t lie, but they can cheat. Experts say the average cost of tuition, room and board, and general fees is $16,140 for a public four-year university and $36,993 at a private school. Meanwhile, the average student debt graduates with $24,000 -- if they make it through four years. Those numbers may sound big, but as any parent with a child (or two) in college can tell you, they represent only a small part of the overall tab. When you look beyond the official sticker price, the total cost of a four-year college education is much higher. Not surprisingly, many institutions also underreport their “average” student debt, or don’t report it at all."
- Things are about to get testy. A June 21, 2011 Inside Higher Ed article reports, "ACT's Validity Questioned." "A new study has found that two of the four main parts of the ACT -- science and reading -- have "little or no" ability to help colleges predict whether applicants will succeed."
- Fortunately, the employment outlook for newly minted degree holders is looking up in certain cities. "Work of Nations: Surprising Hot Job-Growth Spots for College Grads." "From San Francisco to Boston, the market is fast recovering in perennially popular urban centers. But one need not stick to the coasts to find a job; such flyover towns as Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh are also experiencing growth."