Parents Saving 25% Less for College

According to a new report from Sallie Mae, the student lender, there’s been a 25 percent year-over-year decline in the amount of money parents are setting aside for future college expenses ($10,040 from $13,408). And 60 percent of parents lack confidence that they’ll be able to pay for the future price of college.

HT: Inside Higher Ed

The Importance of Our Early Years

J.C. Ryle:

Youth is the seed-time of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning-point in the history of man’s mind.

By the shoot we judge of the tree, by the blossoms we judge of the fruit, by the spring we judge of the harvest, by the morning we judge of the day, and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up.

-J.C. Ryle, Thoughts for Young Men (available for $0.99 on Kindle)

Is Morality about Interference or Direction?

C.S. Lewis:

“There is a story about a schoolboy who was asked what he thought God was like. He replied that, as far as he could make out, God was ‘the sort of person who is always snooping around to see if anyone is enjoying himself and then trying to stop it’. And I am afraid that is the sort of idea that the word Morality raises in a good many people’s minds: something that interferes, something that stops you having a good time. In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine.”

From Mere Christianity

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Designing the New American University

This new book from Michael M. Crow and William B. Dabars looks fascinating. Crow has served as the president of Arizona State University (ASU) since 2002. He was formerly executive vice provost at Columbia University and a professor of science and technology policy (a field I almost pursued after completing my bachelor’s degree). Dabars is a senior research fellow in the Office of the President and a research professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at ASU.

Crow is widely regarded as one of the pioneering leaders in higher education. He speaks at workshops across the country on topics ranging from education reform, college access, and college affordability. Here’s the book’s trailer: Continue Reading…

Who Do Young Adults Live With?

Are young adults really moving back home at record rates? When they do move back home, what drives that decision? This interesting WSJ article argues that it’s less about the economy and more about student debt. A few highlights:

“The proportion of young adults aged 18 to 31 living with parents has hit 36% from 31% in 2005, and indebtedness—especially rising student debt—explains roughly 30% of this increase.”

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Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be

Frank Bruni’s new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania looks great, especially for upper and upper-middle class parents currently biting their nails over whether Junior will get into Princeton. For the rest of you, let me explain: Over the next few weeks, tens of thousands of “fat envelopes” (acceptances) and hundreds of thousands of “thin envelopes” (rejections) will be mailed all across the country to high school seniors hoping to get into a couple dozen of the most elite universities. The belief is that if you get into one of these schools, you’re set. After four years of hobnobbing, partying, and anxiety-driven studying, you can count on a cushy job and a clear path to a corner office. While relatively few Americans live out the extreme forms of “college admissions mania,” many more have bought into some form of this pervasive mythology. The truth? How successful a person becomes, financially and otherwise, depends far more on the person than his or her alma mater.

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How Purdue University is Serving Students by Cutting Costs

Purdue University is midway through a (so far) three-year tuition freeze. In the 2015-2016 school year, in-state students will pay $10,000 and out-of-staters $28,794. How’d they do it?

  • Adding higher-deductible health care plans that save the school money and make employees more cost-conscious.
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Why not massively lower interest rates on students loans?

Image result for student debtOver one million students graduate college each year with student debt. And the debt loads at graduation keep rising (to say nothing of the debt loads of the usually less employable college drop-outs). Naturally, politicians of all stripes are proposing policy solutions.

For example, the following has been proposed by 2016 Ohio candidate for the U.S. Senate, Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld:

  • Reduce interest rates to 2 percent for all recipients of subsidized federal loans who graduated with a four-year college degree since 2009.
  • Reduce interest rates to 3 percent for other federal loan recipients who graduated with a four-year college degree from public institutions since 2009.
  • Provide one year, up to $12,500, of federal student loan forgiveness to Pell Grant recipients upon their completion of a four-year degree.

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Why the Attraction of “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

Image result for 50 shades of greyWhy are millions of twenty-first century women drawn to a story about a rich man wooing, oppressing and humiliating a young, vulnerable woman? Don’t we live in a day in which sexual assault on college campuses and domestic abuse by professional football players fills us with indignation? Ross Douthat explain this mystery:

Viewed from one angle, the sexual revolution looks obviously egalitarian. It’s about extending to everyone the liberties–the freedom to be promiscuous, to pursue sexual fulfillment without guilt–that were once available only to privileged cisgendered heterosexual males. It’s about ushering in a society where everyone can freely love and take pleasure in anyone and anything they want.

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How Do Americans Pay For College?

The latest national study on how Americans pay for college is out from Sallie Mae and Ipsos. The 2014 breakdown:

Student borrowing and parent borrowing were at 18% and 9%, respectively, in 2013–so that’s a pretty big decline in borrowing. Other key findings:

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