Wednesday Linkpile compiles, for your information and delight, links to noteworthy news articles pertaining to all things online and higher-educational.
- An April 18, 2011 eCampus News article reports that career colleges have lost the battle against "gainful employment" regulations, but they plan to continue the war against governmental oversight. "For-Profit colleges concede defeated on new rules, vow to fight on" reads the article's headline. "The for-profit regulations pushed by the Obama administration for more than two years would affect some of the nation’s largest online colleges, such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University, by stripping schools of federal loan money if too many of their students maintain high loan debt-to-income ratios, among other provisions."
- An April 19, 2011 article in Louisiana's The Pelican Post asks, "Higher Education: The Next Asset Bubble?" "Since the federal government guarantees student loans, when a student defaults the federal government pays the loan originator the balance of the loan plus interest. The government then hires a collections agency to recoup its money and adds a 25 percent collections fee on the defaulter, which benefits both the lender and the federal government. Universities also benefit, since they receive their tuition regardless of whether a student pays his debt or finishes his degree. Naturally, tuition prices increase in line with the amount that prospective students can borrow."
- As this asset bubble inflates we might pause to ask along with this April 19, 2011 WalletPop.com article, "College Debt Worse Than Credit Cards: Worth It" "The conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't take on more debt for college than your expected annual salary upon graduation, but many people are taking on far more than that."
- For the time being anyway, student debt remains smart debt to take on. "Personal Interest: Experts Deem Student Loans a Sound Investment".[A]n April 16, 2011 Omaha World Herald article declares student debt worthwhile debt to take on. The article reports that the consensus among experts is that borrowing for college remains a smart investment, especially compared to credit card debt, which next to student loan debt, and represents the next largest category of debt carried by Americans. Whereas credit card debt merely drains household budgets, student loan debt adds to them, in the sense that the borrower, who hopefully has a degree to show for all of that debt, realizes more income than she would had she never gone to college.
- Of course, as an April 18, 2011 article in The Scribe (student newspaper for the University of Colorado—Colorado Springs) points out, borrowing for college will become all the more necessary as cuts in Washington affect other sorts of student aid. "Obama proposal cuts summer Pell Grants." "The proposal was made in response to the House Republicans' legislation to cut the maximum allowable award from $5500 to $4500 for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, which ends in September. The Obama budget for 2012 would keep the maximum award at $5500 but cut summer funding instead."
- As the present condition of student financial assistance gets debated, Mind/Shift peers into the future of learning and assesses its practical implications. "Online Learning: It's complicated" is the judgment the April 19, 2011 article comes back with. "In an online course, you can have individualized pacing. You’re able to integrate media to incorporate different learning styles, such as audio, video, and animation -- multiple ways in which to learn and master a concept. For a traditional classroom teacher who’s teaching six classes a day at 30 students per class, I really question whether it’s a realistic expectation to ensure the success of all students."
- Amidst all the storm and stress of state budgets and tuition hikes, on Arizona career college finds itself poised to make a stronger showing in the higher-education market. "Closing the Gap: Grand Canyon University Gives Arizona State Schools a Run for Their Money." "Northern Arizona University economics professor Ron Gunderson ... believes that GCU’s time has arrived, especially as students must now absorb higher costs in order to attend state schools. According to Gunderson, these increased costs shrink the price difference between state and private institutions. This essentially re-jiggers the calculus of choosing an institution, as the additional cost to attend a private one appears increasingly merely nominal. GCU hopes that this shrinking difference in cost will begin to make higher-education aspirants believe that a private university learning experience is within reach."