A Dangerous “New Normal” in College Debt

student-debtA common mentality among high school seniors is this: “If all my friends are going into extreme debt to pay for college, then it must be okay.” You are wrong. As columnist Charles Blow points out, “Our national educational aspirations and the debt crisis that they’re creating are colliding. We are on an unsustainable track. This will not end well.”


Read here: A Dangerous “New Normal” in College Debt (via NY Times)









Cal State campuses overwhelmed by remedial needs

By Matt Krupnick

Posted: 12/11/2011 04:33:25 PM PST
Updated: 12/12/2011 04:58:59 AM PST

Wracked with frustration over the state’s legions of unprepared high school graduates, the California State University system next summer will force freshmen with remedial needs to brush up on math or English before arriving on campus.  But many professors at the 23-campus university, which has spent the past 13 years dismissing students who fail remedial classes, doubt the Early Start program will do much to help students unable to handle college math or English.

“I’m not at all optimistic that it’s going to help,” said Sally Murphy, a communications professor who directs general education at Cal State East Bay, where 73 percent of this year’s freshmen were not ready for college math. Nearly 60 percent were not prepared for college English.

“A 15-hour intervention is just not enough intervention when it comes to skills that should have been developed over 12 years,” Murphy said.

Read Complete Story: Here

“Hundreds who got aid at Chicago State should not have been enrolled”

Written by Jodi S. Cohen“Hundreds of Chicago State University students received state financial aid even though their grades were so low that they shouldn’t have been allowed to enroll at the university, according to testimony… “This is a serious, serious situation that I really think has to be addressed,” Maloney said. “The fact that people were getting the money who were making no progress and keeping it from people who could have used it … is a tragedy.”  Read complete story at: Chicago Tribune

“Running in Place: Low-Income Students and the Dynamics of Higher Education Stratification,”

Written by Allie Gragreen. “The Sociology completely predicts this.  The powerful will always find ways to preserve power, and whenever any given thing that the powerful have the other people get access to, they’ll find some way to get a handle on the next level,” Goldrick-Rab said.  “The Race to the Top is at war with the equity agenda.  The effort to be the best and brightest in the world, to be the most elite in the world, is naturally conflicting with the efforts of those who would like to see people be more equal.”

And, as the report says, it’s not just the students who are competing to be the best—it’s the college, too.  The benefits of enrolling a high-achieving student body—more prestige, higher rankings in U.S. News & World Report, better job placement and more generous alumni, to name a few—have just been too tempting for the institutions to pass up, the authors says.  Read More here: Inside Higher Education