A late lunch today; I’ve been busy. Still, I’ve collected quite a few articles related to college stuff:
- Admission Problems: The Application. UC has changed their admission process this year to not require the SAT Subject Exam. However, this has only served to confuse students, for UC states that the exam can help, but not hurt. In many ways, this is like the statement that merit aid is need blind—which is what we hope, but what we fear is that merit aid might be adjusted down for those with what the school perceives to be means.
- Admission Problems: Paying for It. College finances have really been in the news today. USA Today is reporting how tuition and fees at public colleges have risen more than 8% this year, which is more than double the inflation rate, and is occuring in the face of a drop in family income. This is because states often would rather invest in prisons than students. Supposedly, there a rise in federal student aid — including tax credits and deductions. President Obama is trying to help (a little) by offering some relief on student loan payments, but that doesn’t help with the basic college costs. As the NY Times has noted, these costs are increasingly being shifted to families… and particularly, middle-class families. Of course, Ron Paul’s solution is to eliminate the federal student loan program as well as the Department of Education.
- Understanding Financial Aid. You might ask what the Dept of Education does for you. Here’s an example: They are working to ensure that the financial aid award letters you receive from a university are clear and are not misleading. Here’s an example from the article of the misdirection: In one common practice, for example, colleges highlight the total “out of pocket” cost for attending. The figure is intended to give students an estimate of how much they’d have to pay after outright awards, such as grants and scholarships are factored in. But in calculating the “out of pocket” figure, some schools also reduce the total bill by the amount students would have to borrow – even though loans accrue interest and ultimately push up a student’s costs. The DoEducation has a draft form, and is asking for your feedback. Of course, the dept isn’t perfect: they accidently exposed student personal financial information for a few minutes while doing a site upgrade.
- Cultural Sensitivity. Students from Ohio State are imparting a significant message: If you dress up for Halloween, don’t dress as a stereotype. In other words, eschew the ethnic costumes, and don’t reduce cultures to stereotypical or insensitive costumes.