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Under 40? Got Student Debt? Good Chance You’re Poor

About 4 in 10 U.S. households headed by someone under the age of 40 have student debt, the highest level ever, according to a study. The median debt level is about $13,000.Walter Hamilton writing for the LA Times:

College graduate heads-of-household under 40 with student debt have a median net worth of only $8,700, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center. That’s a fraction of the $64,700 the same group without college loans is worth.

They’re not  all drowning in student debt–the median student debt for this group is about $13,000–it’s that “because of the other loans they’ve taken out, the median total indebtedness of college graduates under 40 with student loans is $137,010…compared to $73,250 for their counterparts with no college debt.”

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The Scandal of College Presidential Pay

Avi Snyder, commenting on the huge salary of Ohio State University’s former President Gordon Gee:

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s recently released salary survey, Gee isn’t an outlier. While perpetually-increasing tuition squeezes family income and puts a college education out of reach for many, the median compensation for public (i.e. heavily taxpayer-funded) college presidents is $478,896–higher than the base salary of the President of the United States.

Obscene is too kind a word.

Read the whole thing, which goes on to praise Purdue University president Mitch Daniels (whose salary package I previously mentioned).

Student Debt Levels Rising Faster Than Salaries

Vox reports: In the last decade, “the share of 25-year-old graduates with debt has grown from around 25 percent to nearly 45 percent.” And check out the average debt load of a 25 year old, in 2014 dollars:

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Couple that  with stagnant wages and you have a serious problem.

Read the whole thing.

Why Do Asian-American Students Outperform Their White Peers?

Why Asian-American Students Outperform Their White PeersAt least academically, it’s an incontrovertible fact that Asian-Americans outperform their white peers (and every other ethnic group). But why such dominance?  That’s what sociologists Amy Hsina and Yu Xie set out to uncover, scouring data from two long-term surveys covering more than 5000 U.S. Asian and white students. The answer? It’s a shocker: They work harder.

There is, however, an interesting element:  ”Students from all Asian ethnic groups put greater importance on effort than on natural ability.” Continue Reading…

Want Proof of Grade Inflation?

David  Brooks of the NY Times is a fair-minded journalist:

Every year researchers at U.C.L.A. do a survey of incoming college freshmen. These surveys, conducted over four decades now, show how the life cycle has changed over the past couple generations.

This first thing you see from this and similar data sets is that high school has gotten a bit easier. In 1966, only about 19 percent of high school students graduated with an A or A- average. By 2013, 53 percent of students graduated with that average.

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What Awaits 2014 Grads in the Working World?

From a March 2014 survey of more than 2,000 students (conducted by Accenture):

What Awaits 2014 Grads in the Working World?—Infographic

Read more, or download the full PDF.

Success Depends on What You Do in College, Not Where You Go

That’s the result from the inaugural Gallup-Purdue Index, a joint-research effort between Purdue University and Lumina Foundation to study the relationship between the college experience and college graduates’ lives.  In a nutshell, students are more likely to thrive after graduation, at work and outside of work, when they have the right kinds of support and experience during their college years.

Support

  • Professors who make them excited about learning.
  • Professors who care about them as people.
  • Professors who encourage them to pursue their goals and dreams.

Experience

  • Worked on a project that takes a semester or more to complete.
  • An internship or job that allowed them to apply what they learned in the classroom.
  • Extremely active  in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college.

Continue Reading…

Fathers Crucial in Preparing Teens for College

Great article today in the NY Post by Naomi Schaefer Riley on the importance of fathers in preparing teens for college (and life):

An American Enterprise Institute report last month found, “Compared to teens who reported that their fathers were not involved, teens with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely to graduate from college, and teens with very involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate from college.”

Why?  Riley writes, “Fathers seem to do a better job fostering independence in kids. And one of the biggest challenges of succeeding in higher education is the amount of freedom you’re given.”

I totally agree on the importance of teens experiencing (and being trained to handle) freedom. Read the whole thing.

Why is Christianity Losing Influence in America?

Vishal Mangalwadi, author of The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, writes:

The branding or perception of Christianity as a religion of faith, disconnected with truth, is tragic given that the Judeo-Christian tradition is the only reason why any medieval, modern, or postmodern person talks about “Truth” that can be stated in rational words and propositions (creeds or equations). The secular academy and science acquired the truth-brand only because Secularism is a Protestant heresy. The university exists because the Church was committed to knowing and believing truth. Secularism didn’t create the university. It obtained that Christian institution because, liberal Protestantism surrendered to Rationalism and evangelicalism abandoned the life of the mind. That enabled Secularism to walk away with the brand Truth. The fact is that secular atheism and materialism leave no room for rational/propositional truth. That is why Secularism is dogmatic about relativism.

Read the whole thing. It’s quite long, but you’ll benefit even if you read  just one or two sections.

The Challenges of Christian Higher Education

Great cover story in World magazine about the challenges of Christian higher education, with input from schools in California, Texas, Louisiana, and Missouri. A few highlights:

  • A 2012 study by Bain & Co. consultants examining the financial sustainability of U.S. colleges and universities found that 36 percent of CCCU schools are sustainable, 32 percent are at risk, and 32 percent are unsustainable.
  • The four-year cost of attending a Christian college is now $100,000 (presumably for four years).
  • Federal regulations add to cost, as do amenities.
  • Students utilizing dual credit programs and online offerings see lower overall costs.
  • “Our investigation found that several key factors may doom a Christian institution: incompetent financial planning, poor leadership, indistinctive education, and unorthodox professors. CCCU schools can err at either extreme: On one end, coddling students within a “Christian bubble” and quarantining them from “bad ideas,” and on the other offering a nearly secular education, relegating the “Christian” part of higher education to chapel and campus ministries.”

Read the whole thing (which may require a subscription–totally worth it).