College Planning in the News

Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together a collection of articles related to colleges and universities, which of course is of interest to me as my daughter goes off to UCB in less than a month!

  • Dealing With The Expense. USA Today has an article about how the rising cost of college is forcing people to figure out how to cut college costs. For many, that means going to a local school and living at home instead of going away to school (I know about half of our expense for UCB is lodging). Of course, parents will tell you that having a kid at home costs as well. This also shows up in a Time Magazine article that notes that going away to college may now be the exception rather than the rule. I’d also expect to see a trend where more people are going to state schools, simply because the amount of scholarships that the private schools are offering has gone down as well. The articles note how parents are contributing less to their children’s college education. I can see multiple reasons for that: there’s no money to pull out in HELOCs; investments are underperforming; and college costs have gone up much faster than expected.
  • Student Loans. Another topic much in the news is student loans. An interesting article from the LA Times notes that student loan delinquency is higher for people in their 40s. The consensus is that this is due to the combination of having college and high-school children at that age, home mortgages, and the loans.
  • Zombies at UC. No, I’m not talking about the people that can’t pass the physics labs. Rather, a bunch of zombies staged a protest at yesterday’s UC Regents meeting. They were demanding braaaaaaains, but the Regents replied that they didn’t have any. Seriously, the zombies were demanding that the Regents stop fee and tuition hikes and the privatization of state capital debt.
  • Out in 4. The Sacramento Bee had a really interesting chart of the percentage of people from California colleges that actually graduate in 4 years. At the top were Pomona College, Occidental College, and Stanford (at those prices, I can understand why people want to get out). The top UCs (which were #9 and #10, respectively) were UCLA and UCB. The top Cal States (which came in below all UC campuses), at #28 and #29, were San Diego State and Sonoma State. CSUN was near the bottom, at #44. The bottom three were San Jose State, CSU Dominguez Hills, and University of Phoenix. It is interesting to note that University of Phoenix, which came in dead last with under 10% graduating in 4 years, was also one of the for-profits criticized for abusing GI college benefits.