Les anglonautes

About | Search | Grammar | Vocapedia | Learning | Docs | Stats | News podcasts | Videos | History | Arts | Science | Translate and listen

 Previous Home Up Next

 

Vocapedia > USA > Education, School > Higher education > College / University

 

 

 

Illustration: Bianca Bagnarelli

 

Taking My Parents to College

NYT

AUG. 22, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/taking-my-parents-to-college.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

higher education / ed

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/
opinion/sunday/free-college-tuition-coronavirus.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/06/07/
530909736/hey-higher-ed-why-not-focus-on-teaching

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/
opinion/sunday/bruni-class-cost-and-college.html

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#62335

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

higher education / ed > free education

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/
opinion/sunday/free-college-tuition-coronavirus.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

academia

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#62335

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

public universities > affirmative action

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/25/
opinion/affirmative-action-isnt-just-a-legal-issue-its-also-a-historical-one.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/
opinion/affirmative-action-survives-again.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/23/
482781691/a-victory-for-affirmative-action-and-for-many-colleges-a-sigh-of-relief

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/23/
483228011/supreme-court-upholds-university-of-texas-affirmative-action-program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

college

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/04/
opinion/coronavirus-college-humanities.html

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/
787909495/fewer-students-are-going-to-college-heres-why-that-matters

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/10/
710985799/contract-cheating-colleges-crack-down-on-ghostwritten-essays

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/05/01/
607371793/college-decision-day-brings-relief-excitement-and-big-worries-about-money

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/18/
585876316/navajo-president-go-to-college-then-bring-that-knowledge-home

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/24/
467199006/why-colleges-already-face-race-related-challenges-in-serving-future-students

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/
opinion/sunday/finding-growth-at-my-historically-black-college.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/26/
516468502/for-black-college-prospects-belonging-and-safety-often-top-ivy-prestige

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/26/
493112553/how-native-students-can-succeed-in-college-be-as-tough-as-the-land-that-made-you

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/
opinion/protecting-students-from-bad-colleges.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/30/
444446022/what-youll-actually-pay-at-1-550-colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/
upshot/californias-university-system-an-upward-mobility-machine.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/
opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-measure-a-colleges-value.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/11/
438876441/making-sure-college-is-worth-the-cost

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/10/
437262597/perks-of-a-private-college-hint-its-not-the-cost

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/08/
437262894/the-quintessential-college-experience-without-the-big-bills

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/
opinion/sunday/taking-my-parents-to-college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/
upshot/college-for-the-masses.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/
opinion/joe-nocera-college-for-a-new-age.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/01/19/
are-global-universities-good-for-us-colleges

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/
opinion/ways-to-look-at-a-college-education.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/
opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-demanding-more-from-college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/
upshot/americans-think-we-have-the-worlds-best-colleges-we-dont.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/
opinion/joe-nocera-starbucks-and-arizona-state-add-an-education-to-benefit-package.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/05/27/
should-the-government-grade-colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/26/us/
colleges-rattled-as-obama-presses-rating-system.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/
opinion/sunday/douthat-college-the-great-unequalizer.html

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/
college-the-great-unleveler/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/
opinion/sunday/bruni-colleges-identity-crisis.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/
opinion/elite-colleges-are-as-foreign-as-mars.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/
opinion/sunday/bruni-how-to-choose-a-college.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/
opinion/sunday/bruni-the-imperiled-promise-of-college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/
opinion/brooks-testing-the-teachers.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/
opinion/l05college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/
sunday-review/26leonhardt.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/
opinion/l22college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/
opinion/15arum.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/01/24/
does-college-make-you-smarter

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/
opinion/16moore.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/
health/20campus.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/
opinion/14tue1.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/
opinion/30kahlenberg.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/
education/10education.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/
education/06cheat.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/
opinion/25Trachtenberg.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/
weekinreview/16steinberg.html

 

 

 

 

college choice

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/05/01/
607371793/college-decision-day-brings-relief-excitement-and-big-worries-about-money

 

 

 

 

women’s colleges / all-women’s college

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/us/
graduation-is-bittersweet-as-sweet-briar-college-is-likely-closing.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/
opinion/sunday/who-are-womens-colleges-for.html

 

 

 

 

same-sex colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/03/10/
are-same-sex-colleges-still-relevant

 

 

 

 

black college

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/us/
samuel-dubois-cook-dead-educator-racial-pioneer.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/
opinion/sunday/finding-growth-at-my-historically-black-college.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/26/
516468502/for-black-college-prospects-belonging-and-safety-often-top-ivy-prestige

 

 

 

 

 black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/us/
samuel-dubois-cook-dead-educator-racial-pioneer.html

 

 

 

 

colleges        2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/education/08college.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE49T02E20081030

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE49T02G20081030

 

 

 

 

get into college

 

 

 

 

graduate high school

and go on to college

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/24/
467199006/why-colleges-already-face-race-related-challenges-in-serving-future-students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cheating > ghostwritten essays

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/10/
710985799/contract-cheating-colleges-crack-down-on-ghostwritten-essays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

campus racism

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/11/
455641270/with-campus-racism-how-can-college-presidents-get-it-right

 

 

 

 

campus police

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/us/
georgia-tech-killing-student.html

 

 

 

 

university police officer

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/10/
556952584/enter-title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sex on college campuses

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/14/
514578429/hookup-culture-the-unspoken-rules-of-sex-on-college-campuses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New SAT: Less Vocabulary, More Linear Equations

NPR        by Cory Turner        April 16, 2014        4:00 PM ET

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/16/303769778/
the-new-sat-less-vocabulary-more-linear-equations

 

 

 

 

 submit SAT or ACT scores > test-optional movement

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/03/
436584244/why-are-colleges-really-going-test-optional

 

 

 

 

ACT

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/16/
303769778/the-new-sat-less-vocabulary-more-linear-equations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

college application

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/29/
507088990/what-the-people-who-read-your-college-application-really-think

 

 

 

 

college application system

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/05/
opinion/sunday/throw-out-the-college-application-system.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/
opinion/a-better-way-to-evaluate-college-applicants.html

 

 

 

 

college application season

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/29/
507088990/what-the-people-who-read-your-college-application-really-think

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/national/
college-applications/the-pros-and-cons-of-delaying-college

 

 

 

 

college application

 

 

 

 

applicant

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/
opinion/a-better-way-to-evaluate-college-applicants.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/us/
led-by-stanfords-5-top-colleges-acceptance-rates-hit-new-lows.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/
education/edlife/lifting-the-veil-on-the-holistic-process-
at-the-university-of-california-berkeley.html

 

 

 

 

applicant > grades and scores

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/
education/edlife/lifting-the-veil-on-the-holistic-process-
at-the-university-of-california-berkeley.html

 

 

 

 

college enrollment / access

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/
opinion/sunday/a-new-way-to-improve-college-enrollment.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/us/
led-by-stanfords-5-top-colleges-acceptance-rates-hit-new-lows.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/
education/in-a-recovering-economy-a-decline-in-college-enrollment.html

 

 

 

 

enroll

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/
upshot/top-colleges-that-enroll-rich-middle-class-and-poor.html

 

 

 

 

enrol in college

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/
college-the-great-unleveler/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/
opinion/how-to-help-college-students-graduate.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivy League Trailblazers        NYT        13 April 2015

 

 

 

 

Ivy League Trailblazers | The New York Times        13 April 2015

 

What is it like

to be the first member of your family to go to college?

 

First-generation college students must learn

to deal with the privilege and the challenges.

 

Produced by: Natalia V. Osipova

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1PtzlVT

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7qKOGZtXi8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at a Big Ten school

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/
opinion/sunday/poor-little-rich-women.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harvard

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/
us/getting-into-harvard.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/
opinion/affirmative-action-new-york-harvard.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/
us/affirmative-action-lawsuits.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/06/06/
531591202/harvard-rescinds-admission-of-10-students-over-obscene-facebook-messages

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/26/
530159142/mark-zuckerberg-tells-harvard-graduates-to-embrace-globalism-a-sense-of-purpose

 

 

 

 

get into Harvard

— or Yale, Stanford, Brown, Boston College

or many other elite colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/
upshot/getting-into-the-ivies.html

 

 

 

 

attend Harvard

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/01/
476359624/malia-obama-will-attend-harvard-white-house-says

 

 

 

 

Harvard > Final clubs

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/
education/edlife/are-final-clubs-too-exclusive-for-harvard.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elite colleges / top colleges / top universities / top schools

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/
opinion/affirmative-action-new-york-harvard.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/24/us/
affirmative-action.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/17/
542575305/high-achieving-low-income-students-where-elite-colleges-are-falling-short

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/15/
504478472/how-to-get-20-000-off-the-price-of-a-masters-degree

 

http://www.npr.org/2015/03/16/
393339590/why-many-smart-low-income-students-dont-apply-to-elite-schools

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/16/
upshot/the-least-economically-diverse-top-college-seeking-to-change.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/
upshot/top-colleges-that-enroll-rich-middle-class-and-poor.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/us/
led-by-stanfords-5-top-colleges-acceptance-rates-hit-new-lows.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/
business/economy/25leonhardt.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/
opinion/l26elite.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/
weekinreview/19steinberg.html

 

 

 

 

globalization of elite colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/
upshot/getting-into-the-ivies.html

 

 

 

 

elite colleges > legacy

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

 

 

 

USA > The Ivy League        UK / USA

 

Brown

Columbia

Cornell

Dartmouth

Harvard

Princeton

University of Pennsylvania

Yale
 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/ivy-league

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2019/sep/24/
how-to-your-way-into-an-ivy-league-school

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/26/
516468502/for-black-college-prospects-belonging-and-safety-often-top-ivy-prestige

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/01/
476359624/malia-obama-will-attend-harvard-white-house-says

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/
opinion/sunday/an-admissions-surprise-from-the-ivy-league.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7qKOGZtXi8

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/
upshot/getting-into-the-ivies.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/
opinion/elite-colleges-are-as-foreign-as-mars.html

 

 

 

 

Ivy League > Princeton

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/23/nyregion/
at-princeton-addressing-a-racist-legacy-and-seeking-
to-remove-woodrow-wilsons-name.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/nyregion/
in-potential-shift-women-are-running-
and-winning-leadership-roles-at-princeton.html

 

 

 

 

ivy league education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago State University

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/us/chicago-
state-a-lifeline-for-poor-blacks-is-under-threat-itself.html

 

 

 

 

 Baltimore, Maryland > Johns Hopkins University

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/06/03/
531032582/my-improbable-graduation-from-a-tiny-village-in-ghana-to-johns-hopkins

 

 

 

 

Ole Miss / University of Mississippi

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/university-of-mississippi

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/22/
515757039/a-students-perspective-on-mississippi-
beautiful-engulfing-and-sometimes-enraging

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/us/
ole-miss-liberal-agitators-education-university-mississippi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alma mater

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/26/
530179298/hillary-clinton-to-deliver-commencement-speech-at-wellesley-college

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/
hasterts-name-removed-by-alma-mater.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/18/
304526503/should-college-dropouts-be-honored-by-their-alma-maters

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/
politics/robert-l-hardesty-speechwriter-for-johnson-dies-at-82.html

 

 

 

 

college town

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/07/14/
travel/20130714-SURFACING.html

 

 

 

 

selective colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/
upshot/getting-into-the-ivies.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

college admissions

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/12/
900173338/how-the-coronavirus-has-upended-college-admissions

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/08/
711136472/felicity-huffman-and-12-other-parents-to-plead-guilty-in-college-cheating-scanda

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/23/
705183942/how-admissions-really-work-if-the-college-admissions-scandal-shocked-you-read-th

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/
702973336/does-it-matter-where-you-go-to-college-some-context-for-the-admissions-scandal

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/
education/walter-j-leonard-pioneer-of-affirmative-action-in-harvard-admissions-dies-at-86.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/
opinion/sunday/an-admissions-surprise-from-the-ivy-league.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/30/
444498625/the-big-new-effort-to-revamp-college-admissions-will-it-work

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/03/31/
how-to-improve-the-college-admissions-process

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/
opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-how-to-survive-the-college-admissions-madness.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

highly selective colleges > admissions > family connections

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/
education/09legacies.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

donations to colleges in 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/
education/02gifts.html

 

 

 

 

cartoons > Cagle > Welcome to college        2010

http://www.cagle.com/news/College2010/main.asp

 

 

 

 

college life

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/07/26/
education/26_ss_Social_index.html

 

 

 

 

four-year college

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/
opinion/17brooks.html

 

 

 

 

community colleges

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/community-colleges

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/09/
437262965/time-versus-debt-why-these-students-chose-community-college

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/
opinion/expanding-community-college-access.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/
opinion/tom-hanks-on-his-two-years-at-chabot-college.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/nyregion/
raising-ambitions-the-challenge-in-teaching-at-community-colleges.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/
opinion/17brooks.html

 

 

 

 

leaders of colleges >  salaries and benefits

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/
education/18college.html

 

 

 

 

colleges > cybersecurity

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/
hacking/2006-08-01-college-hack_x.htm

 

 

 

 

private school

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/
where-private-school-is-not-a-privilege/

 

 

 

 

public colleges / private colleges

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-26-
college-enrollment_N.htm

 

 

 

 

public colleges

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/
opinion/sunday/the-assault-on-colleges-and-the-american-dream.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berkeley - “world’s premier public university”

https://www.berkeley.edu/ 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/
education/edlife/lifting-the-veil-on-the-holistic-process-
at-the-university-of-california-berkeley.html

 

 

 

 

Harvard University        Cambridge, Mass.

https://www.harvard.edu/ 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/harvard-university

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/01/
476359624/malia-obama-will-attend-harvard-white-house-says

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/
education/walter-j-leonard-pioneer-of-affirmative-action-
in-harvard-admissions-dies-at-86.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/09/426735918/
has-harvard-quashed-virtual-classroom-naysayers

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/opinion/
is-harvard-unfair-to-asian-americans.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/education/
americas-it-school-look-west-harvard.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/
end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

 

 

 

Amherst College

https://www.amherst.edu/

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/amherst-college 

 

 

 

 

the richest, most selective schools

- Harvard, Yale and Princeton

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-26-
college-enrollment_N.htm

 

 

 

 

George Washington’s University

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/george-washington-university

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/
education/edlife/how-to-raise-a-universitys-profile-pricing-and-packaging.html

 

 

 

 

Standford University

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/08/
711136472/felicity-huffman-and-12-other-parents-to-plead-guilty-in-college-cheating-scanda

 

 

 

 

Yale

https://www.yale.edu/

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/08/
711136472/felicity-huffman-and-12-other-parents-to-plead-guilty-in-college-cheating-scanda

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/opinion/
stop-universities-from-hoarding-money.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/opinion/
end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

 

 

 

at Yale

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/us/
handling-of-sexual-harassment-case-poses-larger-questions-at-yale.html

 

 

 

 

at the University of Texas

 

 

 

 

Long island > Adelphi University

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/nyregion/
peter-diamandopoulos-divisive-adelphi-university-president-dies-at-86.html

 

 

 

 

Catholic university > University of Notre Dame

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/02/27/us/
ap-us-obit-hesburgh.html

 

 

 

 

Sewanee

(pronounced suh-WAH-nee)

was founded by Episcopal bishops

just before the Civil War

and began classes in 1868

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/30/
education/30sewanee.html

 

 

 

 

campus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

college dropouts

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/26/
530159142/mark-zuckerberg-tells-harvard-graduates-to-embrace-globalism-a-sense-of-purpose

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/25/
466454645/fixing-a-broken-freshman-year-what-an-overhaul-might-look-like

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/18/
304526503/should-college-dropouts-be-honored-by-their-alma-maters

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TECH/innovation/08/25/
steve.jobs.profile/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drop out

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/05/28/
479208574/how-to-fix-a-graduation-rate-of-1-in-10-ask-the-dropouts

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/
opinion/how-to-help-college-students-graduate.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

humanities

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/02/02/
465239105/what-is-the-value-of-an-education-in-the-humanities

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/11/04/
the-fate-of-the-humanities

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/11/04/
the-fate-of-the-humanities/humanities-and-science-must-work-together

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/11/04/
the-fate-of-the-humanities/we-ignore-scholarship-at-our-peril

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/
education/as-interest-fades-in-the-humanities-colleges-worry.html

 

 

 

 

foreign language classes

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/12/28/
should-foreign-language-classes-be-mandatory-in-college

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yale's secretive Skull and Bones society

sorority

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-03-28-
sorority_N.htm

 

 

 

 

fraternities and sororities

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/fraternities-and-sororities

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/13/
563840154/penn-state-student-given-18-drinks-in-82-minutes-
before-hazing-death-prosecutors

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/09/16/
should-college-fraternities-and-sororities-be-coed

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/nyregion/
5-from-baruch-college-face-murder-charges-in-2013-fraternity-hazing.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/
penn-state-fraternitys-secret-facebook-photos-may-lead-to-criminal-charges.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/14/opinion/
the-university-of-oklahoma-video-and-the-problem-fraternities-cant-fix-themselves.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/us/
fraternity-closed-at-oklahoma-after-video-of-racist-chant.html

http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/
is-college-sexual-assault-a-fraternity-problem/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/us/
sorority-anti-rape-idea-drinking-on-own-turf.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/us/
at-alabama-a-renewed-stand-for-integration.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/us/
sorority-exposes-its-rejection-of-black-candidate.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

senior

 

 

 

 

junior

 

 

 

 

sophomores > second-year university students in North America

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/04/
466329252/fixing-the-freshman-year-heres-what-sophomores-say

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-09-28-
school-shooting_x.htm

 

 

 

 

alumnus (sing) alumni (plur)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/
education/02gifts.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/
education/16college.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/
opinion/30kahlenberg.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/
business/economy/27leonhardt.html

 

 

 

 

valedictorians

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/
nyregion/28valedictorians.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

freshman

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/09/07/
542574774/in-the-weeks-before-freshman-year-money-worries-aplenty

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/02/
opinion/sunday/college-freshman-mental-health.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/04/
466329252/fixing-the-freshman-year-heres-what-sophomores-say

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/25/
466454645/fixing-a-broken-freshman-year-what-an-overhaul-might-look-like

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/
education/27colleges.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/
nyregion/02suicide.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/
education/21college.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/
business/economy/10reed.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-26-
college-enrollment_N.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

professor / college teacher

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/05/08/
404960905/what-the-best-college-teachers-do

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/
opinion/sunday/whats-the-point-of-a-professor.html

 

 

 

 

a history professor

 

 

 

 

adjuncts / adjunct professors        February 2014

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#62335

 

 

 

 

dean

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/
business/21burton.html

 

 

 

 

provost

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/us/
handling-of-sexual-harassment-case-poses-larger-questions-at-yale.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gap year

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/17/
should-more-americans-study-abroad/a-gap-year-to-live-abroad-not-study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graduation

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/07/
stop-holding-us-back/

 

 

 

 

college graduates

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/03/
upshot/up-college-unemployment-quiz.html

 

 

 

 

graduation ceremony > valedictory

 

 

 

 

graduation ceremony > valeictorian

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/us/2-valedictorians-in-texas-
declare-undocumented-status-and-outrage-ensues.html

 

 

 

 

deliver a valedictory speech

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/11/us/
2-valedictorians-in-texas-declare-undocumented-status-and-outrage-ensues.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

diploma

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/07/
stop-holding-us-back/

 

 

 

 

college degree

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/
upshot/this-list-of-well-educated-districts-explains-why-georgias-election-is-close.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/15/
504478472/how-to-get-20-000-off-the-price-of-a-masters-degree

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/
opinion/straight-from-high-school-to-a-career.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/12/
opinion/when-the-college-degree-is-useless-and-the-debt-is-due.html

http://www.nytimes.com/video/nyregion/100000003155571/the-art-of-the-degree.html

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/07/
stop-holding-us-back/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/05/09/
310114739/whats-your-major-four-decades-of-college-degrees-in-1-graph

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/
the-middle-class-gets-wise/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/
opinion/sunday/bruni-colleges-identity-crisis.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/
opinion/my-valuable-cheap-college-degree.html

 

 

 

 

bachelor’s degree

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/
upshot/this-list-of-well-educated-districts-explains-why-georgias-election-is-close.html

 

 

 

 

traditional four-year college degree

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/
opinion/straight-from-high-school-to-a-career.html

 

 

 

 

Master's Degrees

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/15/
504478472/how-to-get-20-000-off-the-price-of-a-masters-degree

 

 

 

 

Bachelor of Arts    B.A.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/05/09/
310114739/whats-your-major-four-decades-of-college-degrees-in-1-graph

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/09/05/
rick-perrys-plan-10000-for-a-ba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

commencement

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/us/
black-commencement-harvard.html

 

 

 

 

commencement speech

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/26/
530179298/hillary-clinton-to-deliver-commencement-speech-at-wellesley-college

 

 

 

 

commencement speech season

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/05/16/
406136675/words-of-wisdom-commencement-speeches-are-back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

massive open online courses        MOOCs

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/
opinion/sunday/bruni-colleges-identity-crisis.html

 

 

 

 

Debate: In An Online World,

Are Brick And Mortar Colleges Obsolete?

NPR        April 09, 2014        1:00 PM ET

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/09/
299178029/debate-in-an-online-world-are-brick-and-mortar-colleges-obsolete

 

 

 

 

online degrees

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/
upshot/true-reform-in-higher-education-when-online-degrees-are-seen-as-official.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This staff, photographed in its case,

is used in processions

at Sewanee: The University of the South.

 

Photograph:

Josh Anderson for The New York Times

 

In Desire to Grow,

Colleges in South Battle With Roots

By ALAN FINDER        NYT        November 30, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/30/education/30sewanee.html



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Korean War memorial stands atop a hill

on Sewanee's campus overlooking Ashland, Tenn.

 

Photograph:

Josh Anderson for The New York Times

 

In Desire to Grow,

Colleges in South Battle With Roots

By ALAN FINDER        NYT        November 30, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/30/education/30sewanee.html
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A front view of the chapel at Sewanee:

The University of the South.

 

Photograph:

Josh Anderson for The New York Times

 

In Desire to Grow,

Colleges in South Battle With Roots

By ALAN FINDER        NYT        November 30, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/30/education/30sewanee.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

corpus of news articles

 

Education, School

Higher education > College / University > USA

 

 

 

 

End College Legacy Preferences

 

APRIL 24, 2014

The New York Times

The Opinion Pages

Op-Ed Contributor

By EVAN J. MANDERY

 

SOMEONE reading about the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Michigan’s ban on affirmative action — and by extension similar measures passed by voters in California, Texas, Florida and Washington — might develop the misimpression that affirmative action is on the wane. In fact, it’s alive and well: Public and private colleges routinely give preferential treatment to children of alumni.

If you have kids, or plan on having them someday, you know that acceptance rates at elite colleges are at historic lows. Stanford led the stingy pack, admitting but 5 percent of applicants, with Harvard and Yale trailing close behind at 5.9 percent and 6.3 percent respectively.

For “legacies,” the picture isn’t nearly so bleak. Reviewing admission data from 30 top colleges in the Economics of Education Review, the researcher Michael Hurwitz concluded that children of alumni had a 45 percent greater chance of admission. A Princeton team found the advantage to be worth the equivalent of 160 additional points on an applicant’s SAT, nearly as much as being a star athlete or African-American or Hispanic.

At Harvard, my alma mater, the legacy acceptance rate is 30 percent, which is not an unusual number at elite colleges. That’s roughly five times the overall rate.

The disparity is so great it makes the most sense to conceptualize college applications to elite colleges as two separate competitions: one for children whose parents are legacies, the other for children whose parents aren’t.

Admissions officers will hasten to tell you that in a meritocracy many legacies would get in anyway. Let’s pause to consider the usefulness of the term “meritocracy” in a system where the deck is stacked at every level in favor of rich, white students before conceding the premise. It’s surely true that many children of alumni are brilliant, hard-working and deserving of a seat at a top college. That’s quite different from saying the system is fair. In 2003, Harvard’s admissions dean said that the SAT scores of legacy admits were “just two points below the school’s overall average.” These are students who have enjoyed a lifetime of advantage. We’d expect them to have outperformed nonlegacies, at least by a bit, and yet they’ve done slightly worse.

Reasonable minds can differ on the morality and wisdom of race-based affirmative action. Where I teach, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which is about as egalitarian as institutions come, I’ve seen firsthand what the data show: College is a ticket out of poverty, and exposing young men and women to diverse classmates and role models raises the ceiling on what they believe is possible for themselves. That said, I acknowledge the desire for a colorblind, meritocratic society as an honorable position. But how can anyone defend making an exception for children of alumni?

One needn’t have a dog in this hunt to be troubled by legacy. It’s disastrous public policy. Because of legacy admissions, elite colleges look almost nothing like America. Consider these facts: To be a 1 percenter, a family needs an annual income of approximately $390,000. When the Harvard Crimson surveyed this year’s freshman class, 14 percent of respondents reported annual family income above $500,000. Another 15 percent came from families making more than $250,000 per year. Only 20 percent reported incomes less than $65,000. This is the amount below which Harvard will allow a student to go free of charge. It’s also just above the national median family income. So, at least as many Harvard students come from families in the top 1 percent as the bottom 50 percent. Of course this says nothing of middle-class families, for whom private college is now essentially unaffordable.

These facts will trouble any parent of modest means, but it’s time to recognize this as an American problem. Together with environmental destruction, social inequality is the defining failure of our generation. The richest .01 percent of American families possess 11.1 percent of the national wealth, but 22 percent of American children live in poverty.

There are only two ways this gets better. One is a huge reformation of the tax structure. The other is improved access to higher education. Few investments yield a greater return than a college degree. Education has great potential to combat inequality, but progress simply isn’t possible if legacy persists.

To justify this practice there would need to be, in lawyer language, a compelling justification. There is none. Elite colleges defend legacy as necessary to fund-raising. It isn’t. Neither Oxford nor Cambridge nor M.I.T. considers legacy. Their prestige is intact, they attract great students, and they have ample endowments. Moreover, technology has transformed fund-raising. Presidential candidates raise money through grass-roots campaigns; colleges can, too.

Legacy evolved largely as a doctrine to legitimize the exclusion of Jews from elite schools. It endures today as a mechanism for reinforcing inequality, with particularly harsh consequences for Asians, and fundamentally contradicts the rhetoric of access in which elite colleges routinely engage.

Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton and Columbia collectively have endowments of about $100 billion. They have the means to end this abhorrent practice with a stroke of a pen and the financial resources to endure whatever uncertainty ensues. Just a hunch, but I think the economically diverse students admitted to these great colleges would be successful and generous to their alma maters, not in the hope of securing their child a place in a class, but out of genuine appreciation of a legacy of equal access.

 

Evan J. Mandery, a professor at John Jay College

of Criminal Justice, is the author of “A Wild Justice:

The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment

in America.”

 

A version of this op-ed appears in print on April 25, 2014,

on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline:

End College Legacy Preferences.

End College Legacy Preferences,
NYT,
24.4.2014,
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/
opinion/end-college-legacy-preferences.html

 

 

 

 

 

The University of Wherever

 

October 2, 2011
The New York Times
By BILL KELLER

 

FOR more than a decade educators have been expecting the Internet to transform that bastion of tradition and authority, the university. Digital utopians have envisioned a world of virtual campuses and “distributed” learning. They imagine a business model in which online courses are consumer-rated like products on Amazon, tuition is set by auction services like eBay, and students are judged not by grades but by skills they have mastered, like levels of a videogame. Presumably, for the Friday kegger you go to the Genius Bar.

It’s true that online education has proliferated, from community colleges to the free OpenCourseWare lecture videos offered by M.I.T. (The New York Times Company is in the game, too, with its Knowledge Network.) But the Internet has so far scarcely disturbed the traditional practice or the economics at the high end, the great schools that are one of the few remaining advantages America has in a competitive world. Our top-rated universities and colleges have no want of customers willing to pay handsomely for the kind of education their parents got; thus elite schools have little incentive to dilute the value of the credentials they award.

Two recent events at Stanford University suggest that the day is growing nearer when quality higher education confronts the technological disruptions that have already upended the music and book industries, humbled enterprises from Kodak to the Postal Service (not to mention the newspaper business), and helped destabilize despots across the Middle East.

One development is a competition among prestige universities to open a branch campus in applied sciences in New York City. This is Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to create a locus of entrepreneurial education that would mate with venture capital to spawn new enterprises and enrich the city’s economy. Stanford, which has provided much of the info-tech Viagra for Silicon Valley, and Cornell, a biotechnology powerhouse, appear to be the main rivals.

But more interesting than the contest between Stanford and Cornell is the one between Stanford and Stanford.

The Stanford bid for a New York campus is a bet on the value of place. The premise is that Stanford can repeat the success it achieved by marrying itself to the Silicon Valley marketplace. The school’s proposal (unsubtly titled “Silicon Valley II”) envisions a bricks-and-mortar residential campus on an island in the East River, built around a community of 100 faculty members and 2,200 students and strategically situated to catalyze new businesses in the city.

Meanwhile, one of Stanford’s most inventive professors, Sebastian Thrun, is making an alternative claim on the future. Thrun, a German-born and largely self-taught expert in robotics, is famous for leading the team that built Google’s self-driving car. He is offering his “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online and free of charge. His remote students will get the same lectures as students paying $50,000 a year, the same assignments, the same exams and, if they pass, a “statement of accomplishment” (though not Stanford credit). When The Times wrote about this last month, 58,000 students had signed up for the course. After the article, enrollment leapt to 130,000, from across the globe.

Thrun’s ultimate mission is a virtual university in which the best professors broadcast their lectures to tens of thousands of students. Testing, peer interaction and grading would happen online; a cadre of teaching assistants would provide some human supervision; and the price would be within reach of almost anyone. “Literally, we can probably get the same quality of education I teach in class for about 1 to 2 percent of the cost,” Thrun told me.

The traditional university, in his view, serves a fortunate few, inefficiently, with a business model built on exclusivity. “I’m not at all against the on-campus experience,” he said. “I love it. It’s great. It has a lot of things which cannot be replaced by anything online. But it’s also insanely uneconomical.”

Thrun acknowledges that there are still serious quality-control problems to be licked. How do you keep an invisible student from cheating? How do you even know who is sitting at that remote keyboard? Will the education really be as compelling — and will it last? Thrun believes there are technological answers to all of these questions, some of them
being worked out already by other online frontiersmen.

“If we can solve this,” he said, “I think it will disrupt all of higher education.”

Disrupt is right. It would be an earthquake for the majority of colleges that depend on tuition income rather than big endowments and research grants. Many could go the way of local newspapers. There would be huge audiences and paychecks for superstar teachers, but dimmer prospects for those who are less charismatic.

It’s ironic — or maybe just fitting — that this is playing out at Stanford, which has served as midwife to many disruptive technologies. By forging a symbiotic relationship with venture capital and teaching students how to navigate markets, Stanford claims to have spawned an estimated 5,000 businesses. This is a campus where grad school applicants are routinely asked if they have done a startup, and some professors have gotten very, very rich.

John Hennessy, Stanford’s president, gave the university’s blessing to Thrun’s experiment, which he calls “an initial demonstration,” but he is cautious about the grander dream of a digitized university. He can imagine a virtual campus for some specialized programs and continuing education, and thinks the power of distributed learning can be incorporated in undergraduate education — for example, supplanting the large lecture that is often filled with students paying more attention to their laptops. He endorses online teaching as a way to educate students, in the developing world or our own, who cannot hope for the full campus experience.

But Hennessy is a passionate advocate for an actual campus, especially in undergraduate education. There is nothing quite like the give and take of a live community to hone critical thinking, writing and public speaking skills, he says. And it’s not at all clear that online students learn the most important lesson of all: how to keep learning.

As The Times’s Matt Richtel recently reported, there is remarkably little data showing that technology-centric schooling improves basic learning. It is quite possible that the infatuation with technology has diverted money from things known to work — training better teachers, giving kids more time in school.

THE Stanford president is hardly a technophobe. Hennessy came up through computer engineering, used his sabbatical to start a successful microprocessor company, and sits on the boards of Google and Cisco Systems.

“In the same way that a lot of things go into the cost of a newspaper that have nothing to do with the quality of the reporting — the cost of newsprint and delivery — we should ask the same thing about universities,” Hennessy told me. “When is the infrastructure of the university particularly valuable — as it is, I believe, for an undergraduate residential experience — and when is it secondary to the learning process?”

But, he notes, “One has to think about the sustainability of all these things. In the end, the content providers have to get paid.”

I see a larger point, familiar to all of us who have lived through digital-age disorder. There are disrupters, like Sebastian Thrun, or Napster, or the tweeting rebels in Tahrir Square. And there are adapters, like John Hennessy, or iTunes, or the novice statesmen trying to build a new Egypt. Progress depends on both.

Who could be against an experiment that promises the treasure of education to a vast, underserved world? But we should be careful, in our idealism, not to diminish something that is already a wonder of the world.

The University of Wherever,
NYT,
2.10.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/03/opinion/the-university-of-wherever.html

 

 

 

 

 

Your So-Called Education

 

May 14, 2011

The New York Times

By RICHARD ARUM

and JOSIPA ROKSA

 

COMMENCEMENT is a special time on college campuses: an occasion for students, families, faculty and administrators to come together to celebrate a job well done. And perhaps there is reason to be pleased. In recent surveys of college seniors, more than 90 percent report gaining subject-specific knowledge and developing the ability to think critically and analytically. Almost 9 out of 10 report that overall, they were satisfied with their collegiate experiences.

We would be happy to join in the celebrations if it weren’t for our recent research, which raises doubts about the quality of undergraduate learning in the United States. Over four years, we followed the progress of several thousand students in more than two dozen diverse four-year colleges and universities. We found that large numbers of the students were making their way through college with minimal exposure to rigorous coursework, only a modest investment of effort and little or no meaningful improvement in skills like writing and reasoning.

In a typical semester, for instance, 32 percent of the students did not take a single course with more than 40 pages of reading per week, and 50 percent did not take any course requiring more than 20 pages of writing over the semester. The average student spent only about 12 to 13 hours per week studying — about half the time a full-time college student in 1960 spent studying, according to the labor economists Philip S. Babcock and Mindy S. Marks.

Not surprisingly, a large number of the students showed no significant progress on tests of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing that were administered when they began college and then again at the ends of their sophomore and senior years. If the test that we used, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, were scaled on a traditional 0-to-100 point range, 45 percent of the students would not have demonstrated gains of even one point over the first two years of college, and 36 percent would not have shown such gains over four years of college.

Why is the overall quality of undergraduate learning so poor?

While some colleges are starved for resources, for many others it’s not for lack of money. Even at those colleges where for the past several decades tuition has far outpaced the rate of inflation, students are taught by fewer full-time tenured faculty members while being looked after by a greatly expanded number of counselors who serve an array of social and personal needs. At the same time, many schools are investing in deluxe dormitory rooms, elaborate student centers and expensive gyms. Simply put: academic investments are a lower priority.

The situation reflects a larger cultural change in the relationship between students and colleges. The authority of educators has diminished, and students are increasingly thought of, by themselves and their colleges, as “clients” or “consumers.” When 18-year-olds are emboldened to see themselves in this manner, many look for ways to attain an educational credential effortlessly and comfortably. And they are catered to accordingly. The customer is always right.

Federal legislation has facilitated this shift. The funds from Pell Grants and subsidized loans, by being assigned to students to spend on academic institutions they have chosen rather than being packaged as institutional grants for colleges to dispense, have empowered students — for good but also for ill. And expanded privacy protections have created obstacles for colleges in providing information on student performance to parents, undercutting a traditional check on student lassitude.

Fortunately, there are some relatively simple, practical steps that colleges and universities could take to address the problem. Too many institutions, for instance, rely primarily on student course evaluations to assess teaching. This creates perverse incentives for professors to demand little and give out good grades. (Indeed, the 36 percent of students in our study who reported spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone still had an average G.P.A. of 3.16.) On those commendable occasions when professors and academic departments do maintain rigor, they risk declines in student enrollments. And since resources are typically distributed based on enrollments, rigorous classes are likely to be canceled and rigorous programs shrunk. Distributing resources and rewards based on student learning instead of student satisfaction would help stop this race to the bottom.

Others involved in education can help, too. College trustees, instead of worrying primarily about institutional rankings and fiscal concerns, could hold administrators accountable for assessing and improving learning. Alumni as well as parents and students on college tours could ignore institutional facades and focus on educational substance. And the Department of Education could make available nationally representative longitudinal data on undergraduate learning outcomes for research purposes, as it has been doing for decades for primary and secondary education.

Most of all, we hope that during this commencement season, our faculty colleagues will pause to consider the state of undergraduate learning and our collective responsibility to increase academic rigor on our campuses.

 

Richard Arum, a professor of sociology and education

at New York University,

and Josipa Roksa, an assistant professor of sociology

at the University of Virginia,

are the authors of “Academically Adrift:

Limited Learning on College Campuses.”

Your So-Called Education,
NYT,
14.5.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/opinion/15arum.html

 

 

 

 

 

Slight Rise

in Donations to Colleges

Seen in 2010

 

February 2, 2011

The New York Times

By TAMAR LEWIN

 

The nation’s colleges and universities received charitable contributions of $28 billion in 2010, an increase of 0.5 percent from the previous year, according to the annual survey by the Council for Aid to Education.

Support for higher education, measured in total dollars, is at the same level now as it was in 2006, the council said. But adjusted for inflation, it was 8 percent lower last year than in 2006.

“We’re still not out of the woods,” said Ann E. Kaplan, director of the council’s Voluntary Support of Education survey. “Charitable contributions to education are recovering very slowly.”

Stanford raised $599 million from private donors last year, more than any other university. It was followed by Harvard, which raised $597 million, and Johns Hopkins University, which raised $428 million. But all three raised less in 2010 than in 2009, the survey found, as did most of the top 20 institutions.

While the survey included 996 institutions, the top 20 colleges and universities accounted for a quarter of all gifts to higher education last year.

Four of the top 20 universities — the University of Southern California, Duke University, Indiana University and the University of California, Berkeley — received charitable contributions in 2010 that were more than 10 percent greater than the previous year.

Over all, alumni giving and participation declined last year, while donations from companies and foundations increased modestly.

The share of alumni who contribute to their college has been declining for years, even when the economy was strong. According to the survey, alumni participation averaged 9.8 percent last year, compared with 11.9 percent in 2006 — and the average gift was $1,080 last year, compared with $1,195 four years earlier.

    Slight Rise in Donations to Colleges Seen in 2010, NYT, 2.2.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/education/02gifts.html

 

 

 

 

 

Study Finds Family Connections

Give Big Advantage

in College Admissions

 

January 8, 2011
The New York Times
By TAMAR LEWIN

 

A new study of admissions at 30 highly selective colleges found that legacy applicants get a big advantage over those with no family connections to the institution — but the benefit is far greater for those with a parent who earned an undergraduate degree at the college than for those with other family connections.

According to the study, by Michael Hurwitz, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, applicants to a parent’s alma mater had, on average, seven times the odds of admission of nonlegacy applicants. Those whose parents did graduate work there or who had a grandparent, sibling, uncle or aunt who attended the college were, by comparison, only twice as likely to be admitted.

Legacy admissions have become an increasingly touchy issue for colleges. Admissions officers mostly play down the impact of legacy status. But a growing body of research shows that family connections count for a lot — and Mr. Hurwitz’s study found a larger impact than previous studies.

And at a time when admission to elite colleges has become increasingly competitive, critics say the legacy admissions advantage stands as an undemocratic obstacle to social mobility.

“It’s fundamentally unfair because it’s a preference that advantages the already advantaged,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a nonprofit research organization. “It has nothing to do with the individual merit of the applicant.”

Mr. Kahlenberg, the author of “Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions,” said a legal challenge to legacy preferences is becoming likely. Public university preferences could be attacked as unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, he said, while private universities might be vulnerable under an 1866 civil rights statute prohibiting discrimination based on “ancestry.”

Mr. Hurwitz’s study, published in “Economics of Education Review,” looked at data from 133,236 applicants for 2007 college admission, and analyzed the outcomes of the 61,962 who applied to more than one of the elite colleges. That allowed him to compare how much more likely they were to be offered admission where they had family connections.

“I was able to take into account all the applicant’s characteristics,” Mr. Hurwitz said, “because they were the same at every school they applied to. About the only thing that would be different was their legacy status.”

Family donations were not included in the data.

On average, Mr. Hurwitz’s study found, legacy applicants had slightly higher SAT scores than others. Education researchers point out that students whose parents attended elite colleges are also more likely to have advantages like family wealth and private school education.

Thomas P. Espenshade, a Princeton sociologist who has studied legacy admissions, said Mr. Hurwitz’s study was the first to compare the advantage to students applying to a parent’s alma mater with that of students with other family ties.

Mr. Espenshade pointed out that legacy status is just one of many possible advantages.

“We did a paper that found that if you are an athlete, you have 4.2 times the likelihood of admission as a nonathlete,” he said. “The advantages for underrepresented minorities are pretty big, too.”

Mr. Hurwitz said applicants with the highest SATs got the biggest legacy benefits.

Among the 30 colleges, the legacy advantage varied enormously: one college was more than 15 times as likely to accept legacy applicants, while at another, the effect was insignificant.

As a condition of access to the data, Mr. Hurwitz said, he agreed not to identify the colleges.

Given a table showing characteristics like high endowments and SAT scores and low acceptance rates, it seemed apparent that they are the members of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, a group made up of the Ivy Leagues and two dozen other private research universities and liberal arts colleges.

    Study Finds Family Connections Give Big Advantage in College Admissions,
    NYT, 8.1.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/education/09legacies.html

 

 

 

 

 

College, Jobs and Inequality

 

December 13, 2010
The New York Times


Searching for solace in bleak unemployment numbers, policy makers and commentators often cite the relatively low joblessness among college graduates, which is currently 5.1 percent compared with 10 percent for high school graduates and an overall jobless rate of 9.8 percent. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, cited the data recently on “60 Minutes” to make the point that “educational differences” are a root cause of income inequality.

A college education is better than no college education and correlates with higher pay. But as a cure for unemployment or as a way to narrow the chasm between the rich and everyone else, “more college” is a too-easy answer. Over the past year, for example, the unemployment rate for college grads under age 25 has averaged 9.2 percent, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier and 5.8 percent in the first year of the recession that began in December 2007. That means recent grads have about the same level of unemployment as the general population. It also suggests that many employed recent grads may be doing work that doesn’t require a college degree.

Even more disturbing, there is no guarantee that unemployed or underemployed college grads will move into much better jobs as conditions improve. Early bouts of joblessness, or starting in a lower-level job with lower pay, can mean lower levels of career attainment and earnings over a lifetime.Graduates who have been out of work or underemployed in the downturn may also find themselves at a competitive disadvantage with freshly minted college graduates as the economy improves.

When it comes to income inequality, college-educated workers make more than noncollege-educated ones. But higher pay for college grads cannot explain the profound inequality in the United States. The latest installment of the groundbreaking work on income inequality by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez shows that the richest 1 percent of American households — those making more than $370,000 a year — received 21 percent of total income in 2008. That was slightly below the highs of the bubble years but still among the highest percentages since the Roaring Twenties.

The top 10 percent — those making more than $110,000 — received 48 percent of total income, leaving 52 percent for the bottom 90 percent. Where are college-educated workers? Their median pay has basically stagnated for the past 10 years, at roughly $72,000 a year for men and $52,000 a year for women.

A big reason for the huge gains at the top is the outsize pay of executives, bankers and traders. Lower on the income ladder, workers have not fared well, in part because health care has consumed an ever-larger share of compensation and bargaining power has diminished with the decline in labor unions.

College is still the path to higher-paying professions. But without a concerted effort to develop new industries, the weakened economy will be hard pressed to create enough better-paid positions to absorb all graduates.

And to combat inequality, the drive for more college and more jobs must coincide with efforts to preserve and improve the policies, programs and institutions that have fostered shared prosperity and broad opportunity — Social Security, Medicare, public schools, progressive taxation, unions, affirmative action, regulation of financial markets and enforcement of labor laws.

College is not a cure-all, but it will certainly take the best and brightest minds to confront those challenges.

    College, Jobs and Inequality, NYT, 13.15.2010,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/opinion/14tue1.html

 

 

 

 

 

To Stop Cheats,

Colleges Learn Their Trickery

 

July 5, 2010
The New York Times
By TRIP GABRIEL

 

ORLANDO, Fla. — The frontier in the battle to defeat student cheating may be here at the testing center of the University of Central Florida.

No gum is allowed during an exam: chewing could disguise a student’s speaking into a hands-free cellphone to an accomplice outside.

The 228 computers that students use are recessed into desk tops so that anyone trying to photograph the screen — using, say, a pen with a hidden camera, in order to help a friend who will take the test later — is easy to spot.

Scratch paper is allowed — but it is stamped with the date and must be turned in later.

When a proctor sees something suspicious, he records the student’s real-time work at the computer and directs an overhead camera to zoom in, and both sets of images are burned onto a CD for evidence.

Taylor Ellis, the associate dean who runs the testing center within the business school at Central Florida, the nation’s third-largest campus by enrollment, said that cheating had dropped significantly, to 14 suspected incidents out of 64,000 exams administered during the spring semester.

“I will never stop it completely, but I’ll find out about it,” Mr. Ellis said.

As the eternal temptation of students to cheat has gone high-tech — not just on exams, but also by cutting and pasting from the Internet and sharing of homework online like music files — educators have responded with their own efforts to crack down.

This summer, as incoming freshmen fill out forms to select roommates and courses, some colleges — Duke and Bowdoin among them — are also requiring them to complete online tutorials about plagiarism before they can enroll.

Anti-plagiarism services requiring students to submit papers to be vetted for copying is a booming business. Fifty-five percent of colleges and universities now use such a service, according to the Campus Computing Survey.

The best-known service, Turnitin.com, is engaged in an endless cat-and-mouse game with technologically savvy students who try to outsmart it. “The Turnitin algorithms are updated on an on-going basis,” the company warned last month in a blog post titled “Can Students ‘Trick’ Turnitin?”

The extent of student cheating, difficult to measure precisely, appears widespread at colleges. In surveys of 14,000 undergraduates over the last four years, an average of 61 percent admitted to cheating on assignments and exams.

The figure declined somewhat from 65 percent earlier in the decade, but the researcher who conducted the surveys, Donald L. McCabe, a business professor at Rutgers, doubts there is less of it. Instead, he suspects students no longer regard certain acts as cheating at all, for instance, cutting and pasting a few sentences at a time from the Internet.

Andrew Daines, who graduated in May from Cornell, where he served on a board in the College of Arts and Sciences that hears cheating cases, said Internet plagiarism was so common that professors told him they had replaced written assignments with tests and in-class writing.

Mr. Daines, a philosophy major, contributed to pages that Cornell added last month to its student Web site to bring attention to academic integrity. They include a link to a voluntary tutorial on avoiding plagiarism and a strongly worded admonition that “other generations may not have had as many temptations to cheat or plagiarize as yours,” and urging students to view this as a character test.

Mr. Daines said he was especially disturbed by an epidemic of students’ copying homework. “The term ‘collaborative work’ has been taken to this unbelievable extreme where it means, because of the ease of e-mailing, one person looking at someone else who’s done the assignment,” he said.

At M.I.T., David E. Pritchard, a physics professor, was able to accurately measure homework copying with software he had developed for another purpose — to allow students to complete sets of physics problems online. Some answered the questions so fast, “at first I thought we had some geniuses here at M.I.T.,” Dr. Pritchard said. Then he realized they were completing problems in less time than it took to read them and were copying the answers — mostly, it turned out, from e-mail from friends who had already done the assignment.

About 20 percent copied one-third or more of their homework, according to a study Dr. Pritchard and colleagues published this year. Students who copy homework find answers at sites like Course Hero, which is a kind of Napster of homework sharing, where students from more than 3,500 institutions upload papers, class notes and past exams.

Another site, Cramster, specializes in solutions to textbook questions in science and engineering. It boasts answers from 77 physics textbooks — but not Dr. Pritchard’s popular “Mastering Physics,” an online tutorial, because his publisher, Pearson, searches the Web for solutions and requests they be taken down to protect its copyright.

“You can use technology as well for detecting as for committing” cheating, Dr. Pritchard said.

The most popular anti-cheating technology, Turnitin.com, says it is now used by 9,500 high schools and colleges. Students submit written assignments to be compared with billions of archived Web pages and millions of other student papers, before they are sent to instructors. The company says that schools using the service for several years experience a decline in plagiarism.

Cheaters trying to outfox Turnitin have tried many tricks, some described in blogs and videos. One is to replace every “e” in plagiarized text with a foreign letter that looks like it, such as a Cyrillic “e,” meant to fool Turnitin’s scanners. Another is to use the Macros tool in Microsoft Word to hide copied text. Turnitin says neither scheme works.

Some educators have rejected the service and other anti-cheating technologies on the grounds that they presume students are guilty, undermining the trust that instructors seek with students.

Washington & Lee University, for example, concluded several years ago that Turnitin was inconsistent with the school’s honor code, “which starts from a basis of trusting our students,” said Dawn Watkins, vice president for student affairs. “Services like Turnitin.com give the implication that we are anticipating our students will cheat.”

For the similar reasons, some students at the University of Central Florida objected to the business school’s testing center with its eye-in-the-sky video in its early days, Dr. Ellis said.

But last week during final exams after a summer semester, almost no students voiced such concerns. Rose Calixte, a senior, was told during an exam to turn her cap backward, a rule meant to prevent students from writing notes under the brim. Ms. Calixte disapproved of the fashion statement but didn’t knock the reason: “This is college. There is the possibility for people to cheat.”

A first-year M.B.A. student, Ashley Haumann, said that when she was an undergraduate at the University of Florida, “everyone cheated” in her accounting class of 300 by comparing answers during quizzes. She preferred the highly monitored testing center because it “encourages you to be ready for the test because you can’t turn and ask, ‘What’d you get?’ ”

For educators uncomfortable in the role of anti-cheating enforcer, an online tutorial in plagiarism may prove an elegantly simple technological fix.

That was the finding of a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in January. Students at an unnamed selective college who completed a Web tutorial were shown to plagiarize two-thirds less than students who did not. (The study also found that plagiarism was concentrated among students with lower SAT scores.)

The tutorial “had an outsize impact,” said Thomas S. Dee, a co-author, who is now an economist at the University of Virginia.

“Many instructors don’t want to create this kind of adversarial environment with their students where there is a presumption of guilt,” Mr. Dee said. “Our results suggest a tutorial worked by educating students rather than by frightening them.”

Only a handful of colleges currently require students to complete such a tutorial, which typically illustrates how to cite a source or even someone else’s ideas, followed by a quiz.

The tutorial that Bowdoin uses was developed with its neighbor colleges Bates and Colby several years ago. Part of the reason it is required for enrollment, said Suzanne B. Lovett, a Bowdoin psychology professor whose specialty is cognitive development, is that Internet-age students see so many examples of text, music and images copied online without credit that they may not fully understand the idea of plagiarism.

As for Central Florida’s testing center, one of its most recent cheating cases had nothing to do with the Internet, cellphones or anything tech. A heavily tattooed student was found with notes written on his arm. He had blended them into his body art.

    To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn Their Trickery, NYT, 5.7.2010,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/education/06cheat.html

 

 

 

 

 

Tough Times

Strain Colleges Rich and Poor

 

November 8, 2008
The New York Times
By TAMAR LEWIN

 

Arizona State University, anticipating at least $25 million in budget cuts this fiscal year — on top of the $30 million already cut — is ending its contracts with as many as 200 adjunct instructors.

Boston University, Cornell and Brown have announced selective hiring freezes.

And Tufts University, which for the last two years has, proudly, been one of the few colleges in the nation that could afford to be need-blind — that is, to admit the best-qualified applicants and meet their full financial need — may not be able to maintain that generosity for next year’s incoming class. This fall, Tufts suspended new capital projects and budgeted more for financial aid. But with the market downturn, and the likelihood that more applicants will need bigger aid packages, need-blind admissions may go by the wayside.

“The target of being need-blind is our highest priority,” said Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Tufts. “But with what’s happening in the larger economy, we expect that the incoming class is going to be needier. That’s the real uncertainty.”

Tough economic times have come to public and private universities alike, and rich or poor, they are figuring out how to respond. Many are announcing hiring freezes, postponing construction projects or putting off planned capital campaigns.

With endowment values and charitable gifts likely to decline, the process of setting next year’s tuition low enough to keep students coming, but high enough to support operations, is trickier than ever.

Dozens of college presidents, especially at wealthy institutions, have sent letters and e-mail to students and their families describing their financial situation and belt-tightening plans.

At Williams College, for example, President Morton Owen Schapiro wrote that with last year’s negative return on the endowment and the worsening situation since June, some renovation and facilities spending would be reduced and nonessential openings left unfilled.

Many students, increasingly conscious of costs, are flocking to their state universities; at Binghamton University, part of the New York State university system, applications were up 50 percent this fall. But with this year’s state budget problems, tuition increases at public universities may be especially steep. Some public universities have already announced midyear tuition increases.

With endowment values shrinking, variable-rate debt costs rising and states cutting their financing, colleges face challenges on multiple fronts, said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education.

“There’s no evidence of a complete meltdown,” Ms. Broad said, “but the problems are serious enough that higher education is going to need help from the government.”

And as in other sectors, she said, some financially shaky institutions will most likely be seeking mergers.

Nationwide, retrenchment announcements are coming fast and furious, as state after state reduces education financing.

The University of Florida, which eliminated 430 faculty and staff positions this year, was told recently to cut next year’s budget by 10 percent, probably requiring more layoffs. Financing for the University of Massachusetts system was cut $24.6 million for the current fiscal year.

On Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California proposed a midyear budget cut of $65.5 million for the University of California system — on top of the $48 million reduction already in the budget.

“Budget cuts mean that campuses won’t be able to fill faculty vacancies, that the student-faculty ratio rises, that students have lecturers instead of tenured professors,” said Mark G. Yudof, president of the California system. “Higher education is very labor intensive. We may be getting to the point where there will have to be some basic change in the model.”

Private colleges, too, are tightening their belts — turning down thermostats, scrapping plans for new gardens or quads, reducing faculty raises.

But many are also increasing their pool of financial aid.

Vassar College will give out $1 million more in financial aid this year than originally budgeted, even though the endowment, which provides a third of its operating budget, dropped to $765 million at the end of September, down $80 million from late June. President Catharine Bond Hill of Vassar said the college would reduce its operating costs, but remain need-blind.

Many institutions with small endowments, however, will probably become more need-sensitive than usual this year, quietly offering places to fewer students who need large aid packages.

At Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Robert J. Massa, the vice president for enrollment and student life, said that about 200 applicants last year might have been accepted if they had not needed so much financial help, but that that number might rise to 250 this year.

Dickinson’s endowment was $280 million in mid-October, Mr. Massa said, down from $350 million in June. And while more than three quarters of the college’s operating budget comes from student fees, some endowment revenue will have to be replaced.

“Here’s the rub,” Mr. Massa said. “I really don’t think that colleges can afford to increase their tuition price at higher than inflation this year. I don’t think the public will stand for it. What we’ve done in higher education is let our dreams and aspirations dictate our cost structure.”

Most colleges will have a better sense next month of how many students are struggling, when second-semester tuition bills come due.

Paola Aguilar, a sophomore at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., is worrying about whether she can afford to return next year.

“My mom became a Realtor last year to try to earn more money, but that didn’t help,” Ms. Aguilar said. “I’ve talked to the people here, and they’ve helped me out a little more for next semester, but as of right now, if I don’t get more help, I’ll have to leave next year and go somewhere cheaper, near home.”

Tracy Fitzsimmons, Shenandoah’s president, said she began hearing about students’ financial anxieties in mid-September.

“They’d tell me they were thinking they might have to move off campus next semester and stay three to a bedroom, or give up the meal plan and just eat one meal a day,” Ms. Fitzsimmons said.

Shenandoah has started an emergency grant fund for students, increased its loan program and prepared to stretch out spring tuition payments for hard-pressed families.

Economic uncertainty touches every facet of higher education.

“We are planning to begin a capital campaign of $150-185 million,” said Karen R. Lawrence, president of Sarah Lawrence College. “We will still do that. We’re not compromising our ambitions, but the timing will be a little bit deferred.”

At the wealthiest institutions, endowment revenue usually covers about a third of operating costs, and most colleges and universities spend a percentage of their endowment, based on its average value over the previous three years, helping to smooth out economic ups and downs.

In recent years, with tuition rising faster than inflation, college affordability has become a significant issue. And with the sharp growth of endowments in recent years — Harvard’s hit $36.9 billion this summer — some politicians, notably Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have pushed for a requirement that colleges spend 5 percent of their endowments. Many of the wealthiest institutions responded by expanding financial aid last year, with dozens of them replacing loans with grants.

This fall, more universities are taking steps to increase affordability. Benedictine University, a Roman Catholic institution in Illinois, is freezing tuition; Vanderbilt University will replace loans with grants; Boston University has expanded scholarships for students who graduated from Boston public schools; and the University of Toledo announced free tuition for needy, high-performing graduates of Ohio’s six largest public school systems.

Presidents of many expensive private colleges are wondering how much more tuition pressure families can bear.

“I wouldn’t deny that a tuition freeze has occurred to me, but we can’t afford heroic gestures,” said Sandy Ungar, president of Goucher College in Baltimore.

Given the current climate, some say, colleges need to re-examine all of their economic assumptions.

“Several years ago, we started thinking about sustainability in environmental terms,” said Dick Celeste, the president of Colorado College. “Now we need to be thinking about sustainability in economic terms.”

    Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor, NYT, 8.11.2008,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/education/08college.html

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. colleges

punished by financial crisis

 

Thu Oct 30, 2008
9:20am EDT
Reuters
By Andrew Stern

 

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Higher education has been a growth industry in the United States, evidenced by swelling enrollments, expanding campuses and growing endowments. But the global economic crisis has caught colleges and universities in a vice.

With their endowments shrinking along with stock markets, some schools may raise tuition more than usual, even as students complain it is already too expensive and struggle to get loans.

"This will definitely test many schools," said Ronald Watts, the finance chief of Oberlin College, an elite private school in Ohio whose endowment of nearly $750 million has shrunk by about 15 percent in the past four months.

To be sure, schools have proven resilient in past recessions, helped by rising student enrollment as people seek a leg-up in a bleak job market.

"It's not going to be as drastic as what corporations are doing," Watts said. "You don't just eliminate people and lay off faculty and expect not to destroy your academic program."

Nevertheless, a few schools have already announced fresh tuition hikes, and school officials said they were keeping a close eye on their finances. And, with schools under financial pressure, local economies all over the country are likely to suffer.

Tuition increases have outpaced inflation for years. Tuition and fees at public universities have risen 175 percent since 1992, while the consumer price index rose 48 percent.

At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the school's $1.8 billion endowment has shrunk by 18 percent since the start of the year, Sandy Wilcox of the University of Wisconsin Foundation said. Dipping into the endowment to make a promised contribution to the school's budget only shrinks it further.

Wisconsin, like many schools with substantial endowments -- 400 have endowments over $100 million and 76 above $1 billion -- use a three-year averaging system to smooth out how much they pay out from earnings.



RAINY DAY FUND

The wealthiest schools have come to rely on endowments and there has been growing pressure from Congress to boost payouts, threatening to take away their nonprofit, tax-free status if they don't comply.

For most other schools, small endowments serve as a "rainy day fund" that can disappear quickly in tough times, said John Griswold of Commonfund, which manages money for nonprofits.

"Schools we're most concerned about are smaller, less well-endowed private colleges," said Roger Goodman, vice president at Moody's Investors Service, which assigns credit ratings to 500 schools. He said endowment balances have likely plummeted by 30 percent or more.

"You still need a college degree to be a full participant in the work force," he said. "What we may see is a shifting (of applicants) from the higher-priced, small, private colleges, to a lower-priced four-year university, and from the four-year universities to community colleges for a couple of years."

A survey of 2,500 prospective students by MeritAid.com found 57 percent were now considering less-expensive colleges due to the economic downturn.

Many prospective students encounter sticker shock when confronted by the $50,000 price tag at schools like Oberlin, Boston University and Bennington College in Vermont.

But financial aid and federal loans remain available, and families whose assets have declined qualify for more aid.

Boosting access to college is one plank of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's platform. This may add pressure on publicly-funded universities to boost enrollment, which has already climbed 10 percent since 2002.

Sticker prices at private colleges are usually much higher than pubic schools, but students rarely pay full price.

"Sometimes a small, liberal arts college will actually be better for a student and more affordable than in-state (public schools)," said Ken Himmelman, Bennington's dean of admissions.

Public universities, which educate roughly 75 percent of the 17.5 million U.S. students, are anticipating cuts in state appropriations, which cover a substantial chunk of their costs.

State tax receipts have declined due to the economic slowdown and the bursting of the housing bubble.

"They'll look to the university to cut. They don't want to cut prisons, or roads," Wisconsin's Wilcox said.



MAKING CUTS

Massachusetts' public universities have cut budgets by 5 percent as their part in covering a state-wide shortfall.

Some public and private schools have declared hiring freezes and made efforts to reduce expenses because of shrunken endowments, and actual or expected declines in gifts and government support.

The state of Arizona cut its contribution to the state university system by 4 percent this year and 5 percent next year -- with another mid-year cut possible, Its more than 118,000 university students may have to absorb a tuition hike next year of 10 percent or more.

Hawaii lowered its contribution 2 percent, though enrollment rose 6 percent. Pennsylvania's public universities will raise tuition 4 percent next year ahead of state cuts.

California sliced 1 percent off its $3 billion contribution to universities but more cuts are expected as tax revenues lag projections. This spring, New York reduced its contribution and warned another 30 percent cut may be in the offing.

The bursting of the housing bubble has dried up home equity loans many families have used to pay tuition. And the stock market drop has shrunk some families' savings for education.

Often, much of the media's focus is on wealthy private schools with multibillion-dollar endowments like Harvard and Yale, which have promised to cover costs for many of those fortunate enough to gain admission.

But at less well-heeled private schools, which make up most of the United States' unrivaled roster of 4,300 nonprofit institutions of higher learning, significant tuition increases may be unavoidable.

"If history repeats itself, you're going to have falling state support on a per-student basis, rising enrollments, and probably rises in tuition," said Paul Lingenfelter, president of State Higher Education Executive Officers.

Some schools may try to wring more out of their campuses. Professors may have to teach more courses, schools may rent out underutilized campus buildings, or even sell dormitories to hoteliers and lease them back, suggested Richard Vedder, who heads the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

"Schools normally rely on tuition increases" to offset falls in government and donor support, Vedder said. "But as economic conditions worsen, students are going to be resistant, plus there is political pressure not to raise tuition. In dollar terms, budgets may be equal to last year, and some may be forced into some sort of austerity mode."

    U.S. colleges punished by financial crisis, R, 30.10.2008,
    http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE49T02E20081030

 

 

 

 

 

FACTBOX:

How is U.S. higher education faring?

 

Thu Oct 30, 2008
9:20am EDT
Reuters

 

(Reuters) - Higher education in the United States has been viewed as recession-proof, but the global financial crisis is already having an impact.

Here are some facts about enrollment, endowments, and finances at the nation's colleges universities.

- An October 16 report from Moody's Investors Service estimated endowment losses at 5 percent to 7 percent in the year to June 30. Since then, spending and endowment losses sliced another 30 percent off schools' cash and investments.

- For the nation's public universities, which educate three out of four students, state subsidies covered a little over half of their budget costs last year, down from two-thirds in 1998. Tuition has grown to cover more than a third of their budgets, up from one-fifth 15 years ago.

- Endowments supported around 10 percent of the average school's budget. At Harvard (endowment $34.6 billion as of June 30), Yale ($22.5 billion), and other wealthy institutions, earnings from the endowment covered roughly 40 percent of costs. The average expenditure out of wealthy schools' endowments was 4.4 percent of assets.

- A total of 76 colleges and universities had more than $1 billion in their endowments as of June 30. The wealthiest 400 schools had more than $400 billion in assets in 2007. But fewer than 400 schools had at least $100 million in their endowments, with most having less than $10 million.

- Tuition, room and board at private four-year schools in 2007-2008 averaged $31,019, up 7 percent from two years ago after adjusting for inflation. The cost of public schools was $16,758 for in-state students, $24,955 for out-of-state students, up 5 percent in the last two years after inflation.

- Federal loan aid for higher education increased 60 percent between 1996 and 2005. Students borrowed $77 billion last year to pay expenses to attend colleges and universities. Two out of three students received grants -- discounts on tuition -- averaging $9,300 at private schools and $3,600 at public schools.

- College seniors who graduated in 2007 carried 6 percent more student loan debt that the class of 2006. Starting salaries for graduates rose 3 percent in the same period.

- An online survey found 16 percent of prospective students put college searches on hold because they couldn't afford it.
 


Sources: State Higher Education Executive Officers;

The Project on Student Debt;

Center for College Affordability and Productivity;

Commonfund; Moody's Investors Service; MeritAid.com



(Reporting by Andrew Stern in Chicago;

editing by Michael Conlon and Eddie Evans)

FACTBOX: How is U.S. higher education faring?, R, 30.10.2008,
http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE49T02G20081030

 

 

 

 

 

Global Classrooms

Universities Rush

to Set Up Outposts Abroad

 

February 10, 2008
The New York Times
By TAMAR LEWIN

 

When John Sexton, the president of New York University, first met Omar Saif Ghobash, an investor trying to entice him to open a branch campus in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Sexton was not sure what to make of the proposal — so he asked for a $50 million gift.

“It’s like earnest money: if you’re a $50 million donor, I’ll take you seriously,” Mr. Sexton said. “It’s a way to test their bona fides.” In the end, the money materialized from the government of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates.

Mr. Sexton has long been committed to building N.Y.U.’s international presence, increasing study-abroad sites, opening programs in Singapore, and exploring new partnerships in France. But the plans for a comprehensive liberal-arts branch campus in the Persian Gulf, set to open in 2010, are in a class by themselves, and Mr. Sexton is already talking about the flow of professors and students he envisions between New York and Abu Dhabi.

The American system of higher education, long the envy of the world, is becoming an important export as more universities take their programs overseas.

In a kind of educational gold rush, American universities are competing to set up outposts in countries with limited higher education opportunities. American universities — not to mention Australian and British ones, which also offer instruction in English, the lingua franca of academia — are starting, or expanding, hundreds of programs and partnerships in booming markets like China, India and Singapore.

And many are now considering full-fledged foreign branch campuses, particularly in the oil-rich Middle East. Already, students in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar can attend an American university without the expense, culture shock or post-9/11 visa problems of traveling to America.

At Education City in Doha, Qatar’s capital, they can study medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, international affairs at Georgetown, computer science and business at Carnegie Mellon, fine arts at Virginia Commonwealth, engineering at Texas A&M, and soon, journalism at Northwestern.

In Dubai, another emirate, Michigan State University and Rochester Institute of Technology will offer classes this fall.

“Where universities are heading now is toward becoming global universities,” said Howard Rollins, the former director of international programs at Georgia Tech, which has degree programs in France, Singapore, Italy, South Africa and China, and plans for India. “We’ll have more and more universities competing internationally for resources, faculty and the best students.”

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, internationalization has moved high on the agenda at most universities, to prepare students for a globalized world, and to help faculty members stay up-to-date in their disciplines.

Overseas programs can help American universities raise their profile, build international relationships, attract top research talent who, in turn, may attract grants and produce patents, and gain access to a new pool of tuition-paying students, just as the number of college-age Americans is about to decline.

Even public universities, whose primary mission is to educate in-state students, are trying to establish a global brand in an era of limited state financing.

Partly, it is about prestige. American universities have long worried about their ratings in U.S. News and World Report. These days, they are also mindful of the international rankings published in Britain, by the Times Higher Education Supplement, and in China, by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The demand from overseas is huge. At the University of Washington, the administrator in charge of overseas programs said she received about a proposal a week. “It’s almost like spam,” said the official, Susan Jeffords, whose position as vice provost for global affairs was created just two years ago.

Traditionally, top universities built their international presence through study-abroad sites, research partnerships, faculty exchanges and joint degree programs offered with foreign universities. Yale has dozens of research collaborations with Chinese universities. Overseas branches, with the same requirements and degrees as the home campuses, are a newer — and riskier — phenomenon.

“I still think the downside is lower than the upside is high,” said Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania. “The risk is that we couldn’t deliver the same quality education that we do here, and that it would mean diluting our faculty strength at home.”

While universities with overseas branches insist that the education equals what is offered in the United States, much of the faculty is hired locally, on a short-term basis. And certainly overseas branches raise fundamental questions:

Will the programs reflect American values and culture, or the host country’s? Will American taxpayers end up footing part of the bill for overseas students? What happens if relations between the United States and the host country deteriorate? And will foreign branches that spread American know-how hurt American competitiveness?

“A lot of these educators are trying to present themselves as benevolent and altruistic, when in reality, their programs are aimed at making money,” said Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who has criticized the rush overseas.

David J. Skorton, the president of Cornell, on the other hand, said the global drive benefited the United States. “Higher education is the most important diplomatic asset we have,” he said. “I believe these programs can actually reduce friction between countries and cultures.”

 

Tempering Expectations

While the Persian Gulf campus of N.Y.U. is on the horizon, George Mason University is up and running — though not at full speed — in Ras al Khaymah, another one of the emirates.

George Mason, a public university in Fairfax, Va., arrived in the gulf in 2005 with a tiny language program intended to help students achieve college-level English skills and meet the university’s admission standards for the degree programs that were beginning the next year.

George Mason expected to have 200 undergraduates in 2006, and grow from there. But it enrolled nowhere near that many, then or now. It had just 57 degree students — 3 in biology, 27 in business and 27 in engineering — at the start of this academic year, joined by a few more students and programs this semester.

The project, an hour north of Dubai’s skyscrapers and 7,000 miles from Virginia, is still finding its way. “I will freely confess that it’s all been more complicated than I expected,” said Peter Stearns, George Mason’s provost.

The Ras al Khaymah campus has had a succession of deans. Simple tasks like ordering books take months, in part because of government censors. Local licensing, still not complete, has been far more rigorous than expected. And it has not been easy to find interested students with the SAT scores and English skills that George Mason requires for admissions.

“I’m optimistic, but if you look at it as a business, you can only take losses for so long,” said Dr. Abul R. Hasan, the academic dean, who is from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. “Our goal is to have 2,000 students five years from now. What makes it difficult is that if you’re giving the George Mason degree, you cannot lower your standards.”

Aisha Ravindran, a professor from India with no previous connection to George Mason, teaches students the same communications class required for business majors at the Virginia campus — but in the Arabian desert, it lands differently.

Dr. Ravindran uses the same slides, showing emoticons and lists of nonverbal taboos to spread the American business ideal of diversity and inclusiveness. She emphasizes the need to use language that includes all listeners.

And suddenly, there is an odd mismatch between the American curriculum and the local culture. In a country where homosexual acts are illegal, Dr. Ravindran’s slide show suggests using “partner” or “life partner,” since “husband” or “wife” might exclude some listeners. And in a country where mosques are ubiquitous, the slides counsel students to avoid the word “church” and substitute “place of worship.”

The Ras al Khaymah students include Bangladeshis, Palestinians, Egyptians, Indians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians and more, most from families that can afford the $5,400-a-semester tuition. But George Mason has attracted few citizens of the emirates.

The students say they love the small classes, diversity and camaraderie. Their dorm feels much like an American fraternity house, without the haze of alcohol. Some praise George Mason’s pedagogy, which they say differs substantially from the rote learning of their high schools.

“At my local school in Abu Dhabi, it was all what the teachers told you, what was in the book,” said Mona Bar Houm, a Palestinian student who grew up in Abu Dhabi. “Here you’re asked to come up with your personal ideas.”

But what matters most, they say, is getting an American degree. “It means something if I go home to Bangladesh with an American degree,” said Abdul Mukit, a business student. “It doesn’t need to be Harvard. It’s good enough to be just an American degree.”

Whether that degree really reflects George Mason is open to question. None of the faculty members came from George Mason, although that is likely to change next year. The money is not from George Mason, either: Ras al Khaymah bears all the costs.

Nonetheless, Sharon Siverts, the vice president in charge of the campus, said: “What’s George Mason is everything we do. The admissions are done at George Mason, by George Mason standards. The degree programs are Mason programs.”

 

Seeking a Partnership

Three years ago, Mr. Ghobash, the Oxford-educated investor from the United Arab Emirates, heard a presentation by a private company, American Higher Education Inc., trying to broker a partnership between Kuwait and an American university.

Mr. Ghobash, wanting to bring liberal arts to his country, hired the company to submit a proposal for a gulf campus run by a well-regarded American university. American Higher Education officials said they introduced him to N.Y.U. Mr. Ghobash spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the company’s fees, talked with many N.Y.U. officials and paid for a delegation to visit the emirates before meeting Mr. Sexton, the university president, in June 2005.

Mr. Sexton said he solicited the $50 million gift to emphasize that he was not interested in a business-model deal and that academic excellence was expensive. Mr. Ghobash declined to be interviewed. But according to American Higher Education officials, $50 million was more than Mr. Ghobash could handle.

So when the agreement for the Abu Dhabi campus New York University was signed last fall, Mr. Ghobash and the company were out of the picture, and the government of Abu Dhabi — the richest of the emirates — was the partner to build and operate the N.Y.U. campus. The Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi made the gift in November 2007.

“The crown prince shares our vision of Abu Dhabi becoming an idea capital for the whole region,” Mr. Sexton said. “We’re going to be a global network university. This is central to what N.Y.U. is going to be in the future. There’s a commitment, on both sides, to have both campuses grow together, so that by 2020, both N.Y.U. and N.Y.U.-Abu Dhabi will in the world’s top 10 universities.”

Neither side will put a price tag on the plan. But both emphasize their shared ambition to create an entity central to the intellectual life not just of the Persian Gulf but also of South Asia and the Middle East.

“We totally buy into John’s view of idea capitals,” said Khaldoon al-Mubarak, chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority. “This is not a commercially driven relationship. It’s a commitment to generations to come, to research. We see eye to eye. We see this as a Catholic marriage. It’s forever.”

It is also, for New York University, a chance to grow, given Abu Dhabi’s promise to replace whatever the New York campus loses to the gulf.

“If, say, 10 percent of the physics department goes there, they will pay to expand the physics department here by 10 percent,” Mr. Sexton said. “That’s a wonderful opportunity, and we think our faculty will see it that way and step up.”

Mr. Sexton is leading the way: next fall, even before the campus is built, he plans to teach a course in Abu Dhabi, leaving New York every other Friday evening, getting to Abu Dhabi on Saturday, teaching Sunday and returning to his New York office Monday morning.

“The crown prince loved the idea and said he wanted to take the class,” Mr. Sexton said. “But I said, ‘No, think how that would be for the other students.’ ”

 

Uncharted Territory

While the gulf’s wealth has drawn many American universities, others dream of China’s enormous population.

In October, the New York Institute of Technology, a private university offering career-oriented training, opened a Nanjing campus in collaboration with Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and dozens of American universities offer joint or dual degrees through Chinese universities.

Kean University, a public university in New Jersey, had hoped mightily to be the first with a freestanding undergraduate campus in China. Two years ago, Kean announced its agreement to open a branch of the university in Wenzhou in September 2007. Whether the campus will materialize remains to be seen. Kean is still awaiting final approval from China, which prefers programs run through local universities.

“I’m optimistic,” said Dawood Farahi, Kean’s president. “I’m Lewis and Clark, looking for the Northwest Passage.”

In fact, his negotiations have been much like uncharted exploration. “It’s very cumbersome negotiating with the Chinese,” he said. “The deal you struck yesterday is not necessarily good today. The Chinese sign an agreement, and then the next day, you get a fax saying they want an amendment.” Still, he persists, noting, “One out of every five humans on the planet is Chinese.”

Beyond the geopolitical, there are other reasons, pedagogic and economic.

“A lot of our students are internationally illiterate,” Dr. Farahi said. “It would be very good for them to have professors who’ve taught in China, to be able to study in China, and to have more awareness of the rest of the world. And I think I can make a few bucks there.” Under the accord, he said, up to 8 percent of the Wenzhou revenues could be used to support New Jersey.

With state support for public universities a constant challenge, new financing sources are vital, especially for lesser-known universities. “It’s precisely because we’re third tier that I have to find things that jettison us out of our orbit and into something spectacular,” Dr. Farahi said.

 

Possibilities and Alarms

Most overseas campuses offer only a narrow slice of American higher education, most often programs in business, science, engineering and computers.

Schools of technology have the most cachet. So although the New York Institute of Technology may not be one of America’s leading universities, it is a leading globalizer, with programs in Bahrain, Jordan, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Brazil and China.

“We’re leveraging what we’ve got, which is the New York in our first name and the Technology in our last name,” said Edward Guiliano, the institute’s president. “I believe that in the 21st century, there will be a new class of truly global universities. There isn’t one yet, but we’re as close as anybody.”

Some huge universities get a toehold in the gulf with tiny programs. At a villa in Abu Dhabi, the University of Washington, a research colossus, offers short courses to citizens of the emirates, mostly women, in a government job-training program.

“We’re very eager to have a presence here,” said Marisa Nickle, who runs the program. “In the gulf, it’s not what’s here now, it’s what’s coming. Everybody’s on the way.”

Some lawmakers are wondering how that rush overseas will affect the United States. In July, the House Science and Technology subcommittee on research and science education held a hearing on university globalization.

Mr. Rohrabacher, the California lawmaker, raises alarms. “I’m someone who believes that Americans should watch out for Americans first,” he said. “It’s one thing for universities here to send professors overseas and do exchange programs, which do make sense, but it’s another thing to have us running educational programs overseas.”

The subcommittee chairman, Representative Brian Baird, a Washington Democrat, disagrees. “If the U.S. universities aren’t doing this, someone else likely will,” he said. “I think it’s better that we be invited in than that we be left out.”

Still, he said he worried that the foreign branches could undermine an important American asset — the number of world leaders who were students in the United States.

“I do wonder,” he said, “if we establish many of these campuses overseas, do we lose some of that cross-pollination”

    Universities Rush to Set Up Outposts Abroad, NYT, 10.2.2008,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/education/10global.html

 

 

 

 

 

Op-Ed Contributor

Ivy-League Letdown
 

January 22, 2008

The New York Times

By ROGER LEHECKA

and ANDREW DELBANCO

 

LAST month, Harvard reached into its deep pockets — its endowment is $35 billion — and changed the way it calculates student financial aid. The aim, its press release says, is “to make Harvard College more affordable for families across the income spectrum.” Last week, Yale, whose $22.5 billion endowment is growing even faster than Harvard’s, followed suit. Yale’s president, Richard Levin, said he didn’t want students to have to choose “between Yale and Harvard based on cost.”

Who will benefit? Mostly the people Harvard calls “middle- and upper-middle income families,” by which it means those earning $120,000 to $180,000 each year. Yale stretches its new plan to include families earning $200,000. (The median family income in the United States is around $50,000.)

Next year, each of these institutions will add more than $20 million to what they now spend on financial aid, reducing the cost of a college year for families earning $180,000 to $18,000, from $30,000. That’s good news for students at Harvard or Yale. But it’s bad news for many hoping to attend other private four-year colleges — and for the nation in general.

The problem is that most colleges will feel compelled to follow Harvard and Yale’s lead in price-discounting. Yet few have enough money to give more aid to relatively wealthy students without taking it away from relatively poor ones.

Most colleges already tend to favor the affluent because their budgets require it. More than 90 percent of America’s private colleges have endowments less than 1 percent the size of Harvard’s. Giving an upper-middle-class applicant even a generous partial scholarship puts less strain on their budgets than giving a full scholarship to a student whose family can afford to pay nothing.

In 2004, Lawrence Summers, then Harvard’s president, pointed out that three-fourths of the students at selective colleges come from the top income quartile and only 9 percent from the bottom two quartiles combined. And as Donald Heller, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, has shown in a number of studies, colleges are increasingly awarding grant money in the form of so-called merit scholarships not based on financial need. More of this assistance is going to students in the top income quartile than to any other income group.

It is understandable that Harvard and Yale want to make themselves more affordable. But the way they’re going about it sets an example that is likely to make it even harder for low-income students to attend the best college for which they are qualified. Harvard’s stated motive is to stop prospective students from “voting with their feet” by choosing public universities or other private colleges. But surely this is not a very serious problem for a university that each year turns away hundreds of high school valedictorians and whose yield (the percentage of admitted applicants who enroll) is around 80 percent.

At Yale, Mr. Levin has acknowledged that another motive for the new policy is to blunt the growing pressure on wealthy universities to spend more income from their endowments. But is supporting upper-middle-class students the wisest way to dispense the additional money?

In fact, the new policy represents a step backward from the leadership that some elite colleges previously exerted. During the Summers presidency, Harvard focused on the problems of needy students by combining increased financial aid and recruitment in low-income areas, raising its percentage of students eligible for federal Pell grants to 11.9 percent in 2006, from 9.4 percent in 2004. Harvard demonstrated to other colleges that there is undiscovered talent in the two bottom income quartiles.

In a society that claims to believe in equal opportunity, our top universities should lead by example. The scandalous fact is that between 2004 and 2006 — an era of enormous private wealth accumulation — 27 of the 30 top-ranked American universities and 26 of the top 30 liberal arts colleges saw a decline in the percentage of low-income (Pell-grant-eligible) students. The problem Mr. Summers described is only growing worse. While some upper-middle-class families have to sacrifice in order to pay for college and may deserve more financial help, most of their children find a way to attend college. Low-income students earn bachelor’s degrees at less than one-third the rate of high-income students.

Only a few colleges can afford to make tuition affordable for both the poor and the affluent. For every college to become accessible to talented students regardless of income, the federal government must create enhanced grant programs, progressive tax incentives and programs that reduce the debt of graduates who spend time in public service. Otherwise, America will be the loser, no matter who wins the Harvard-Yale game.
 


Roger Lehecka, a former dean of students at Columbia,

consults for scholarship programs for needy students.

Andrew Delbanco is the director of American studies

at Columbia.

Ivy-League Letdown,
NYT,
22.1.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/opinion/22lehecka.html

 

 

 

 

 

Sorority Evictions

Raise Issue of Looks and Bias

 

February 25, 2007

The New York Times

By SAM DILLON

 

GREENCASTLE, Ind. — When a psychology professor at DePauw University here surveyed students, they described one sorority as a group of “daddy’s little princesses” and another as “offbeat hippies.” The sisters of Delta Zeta were seen as “socially awkward.”

Worried that a negative stereotype of the sorority was contributing to a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house.

The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men — conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit.

“Virtually everyone who didn’t fit a certain sorority member archetype was told to leave,” said Kate Holloway, a senior who withdrew from the chapter during its reorganization.

“I sensed the disrespect with which this was to be carried out and got fed up,” Ms. Holloway added. “I didn’t have room in my life for these women to come in and tell my sisters of three years that they weren’t needed.”

Ms. Holloway is not the only angry one. The reorganization has left a messy aftermath of recrimination and tears on this rural campus of 2,400 students, 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

The mass eviction battered the self-esteem of many of the former sorority members, and some withdrew from classes in depression. There have been student protests, outraged letters from alumni and parents, and a faculty petition calling the sorority’s action unethical.

DePauw’s president, Robert G. Bottoms, issued a two-page letter of reprimand to the sorority. In an interview in his office, Dr. Bottoms said he had been stunned by the sorority’s insensitivity.

“I had no hint they were going to disrupt the chapter with a membership reduction of this proportion in the middle of the year,” he said. “It’s been very upsetting.”

The president of Delta Zeta, which has its headquarters in Oxford, Ohio, and its other national officers declined to be interviewed. Responding by e-mail to questions, Cynthia Winslow Menges, the executive director, said the sorority had not evicted the 23 women, even though the national officers sent those women form letters that said: “The membership review team has recommended you for alumna status. Chapter members receiving alumnae status should plan to relocate from the chapter house no later than Jan. 29, 2007.”

Ms. Menges asserted that the women themselves had, in effect, made their own decisions to leave by demonstrating a lack of commitment to meet recruitment goals. The sorority paid each woman who left $300 to cover the difference between sorority and campus housing.

The sorority “is saddened that the isolated incident at DePauw has been mischaracterized,” Ms. Menges wrote. Asked for clarification, the sorority’s public relations representative e-mailed a statement saying its actions were aimed at the “enrichment of student life at DePauw.”

This is not the first time that the DePauw chapter of Delta Zeta has stirred controversy. In 1982, it attracted national attention when a black student was not allowed to join, provoking accusations of racial discrimination.

Earlier this month, an Alabama lawyer and several other DePauw alumni who graduated in 1970 described in a letter to The DePauw, the student newspaper, how Delta Zeta’s national leadership had tried unsuccessfully to block a young woman with a black father and a white mother from joining its DePauw chapter in 1967.

Despite those incidents, the chapter appears to have been home to a diverse community over the years, partly because it has attracted brainy women, including many science and math majors, as well as talented disabled women, without focusing as exclusively as some sororities on potential recruits’ sex appeal, former sorority members said.

“I had a sister I could go to a bar with if I had boy problems,” said Erin Swisshelm, a junior biochemistry major who withdrew from the sorority in October. “I had a sister I could talk about religion with. I had a sister I could be nerdy about science with. That’s why I liked Delta Zeta, because I had all these amazing women around me.”

But over the years DePauw students had attached a negative stereotype to the chapter, as evidenced by the survey that Pam Propsom, a psychology professor, conducts each year in her class. That image had hurt recruitment, and the national officers had repeatedly warned the chapter that unless its membership increased, the chapter could close.

At the start of the fall term the national office was especially determined to raise recruitment because 2009 is the 100th anniversary of the DePauw chapter’s founding. In September, Ms. Menges and Kathi Heatherly, a national vice president of the sorority, visited the chapter to announce a reorganization plan they said would include an interview with each woman about her commitment. The women were urged to look their best for the interviews.

The tone left four women so unsettled that they withdrew from the chapter almost immediately.

Robin Lamkin, a junior who is an editor at The DePauw and was one of the 23 women evicted, said many of her sisters bought new outfits and modeled them for each other before the interviews. Many women declared their willingness to recruit diligently, Ms. Lamkin said.

A few days after the interviews, national representatives took over the house to hold a recruiting event. They asked most members to stay upstairs in their rooms. To welcome freshmen downstairs, they assembled a team that included several of the women eventually asked to stay in the sorority, along with some slender women invited from the sorority’s chapter at Indiana University, Ms. Holloway said.

“They had these unassuming freshman girls downstairs with these plastic women from Indiana University, and 25 of my sisters hiding upstairs,” she said. “It was so fake, so completely dehumanized. I said, ‘This calls for a little joke.’ ”

Ms. Holloway put on a wig and some John Lennon rose-colored glasses, burst through the front door and skipped around singing, “Ooooh! Delta Zeta!” and other chants.

The face of one of the national representatives, she recalled, “was like I’d run over her puppy with my car.”

The national representatives announced their decisions in the form letters, delivered on Dec. 2, which said that Delta Zeta intended to increase membership to 95 by the 2009 anniversary, and that it would recruit using a “core group of women.”

Elizabeth Haneline, a senior computer science major who was among those evicted, returned to the house that afternoon and found some women in tears. Even the chapter’s president had been kicked out, Ms. Haneline said, while “other women who had done almost nothing for the chapter were asked to stay.”

Six of the 12 women who were asked to stay left the sorority, including Joanna Kieschnick, a sophomore majoring in English literature. “They said, ‘You’re not good enough’ to so many people who have put their heart and soul into this chapter that I can’t stay,” she said.

In the months since, Cynthia Babington, DePauw’s dean of students, has fielded angry calls from parents, she said. Robert Hershberger, chairman of the modern languages department, circulated the faculty petition; 55 professors signed it.

“We were especially troubled that the women they expelled were less about image and more about academic achievement and social service,” Dr. Hershberger said.

During rush activities this month, 11 first-year students accepted invitations to join Delta Zeta, but only three have sought membership.

On Feb. 2, Rachel Pappas, a junior who is the chapter’s former secretary, printed 200 posters calling on students to gather that afternoon at the student union. About 50 students showed up and heard Ms. Pappas say the sorority’s national leaders had misrepresented the truth when they asserted they had evicted women for lack of commitment.

“The injustice of the lies,” she said, “is contemptible.”

Sorority Evictions Raise Issue of Looks and Bias,
NYT,
25.2.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/education/25sorority.html
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

education > UK

 

education > USA