Trying to Level the SAT Prep Playing Field

The SAT went back to its old 1600-point system this week (thank youuuu) and along with that announcement came news of an exciting partnership. The College Board and Khan Academy, which is a non-profit with the mission of “providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” are teaming up to make test prep free and accessible on the web. Nona Willis-Aronowitz at NBC News reports


Job-Hunting Via Completing Online Courses

At WSJ, Caroline Porter and Melissa Korn report that a new “online marketplace” linking courses teaching specific job skills to actual jobs is being put together. The marketplace, dubbed Balloon, will launch “with a catalogue of nearly 15,000 technology classes from big-name course providers including Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Coursera and Udacity.” The corporation behind Balloon is Apollo Education Group, Inc., notoriously known for it’s for-profit college The University of Phoenix, which has struggled to get students to enroll lately “amid regulatory scrutiny and student concerns about debt and job prospects.”


18-Year-Old Sues Parents for College Money

Here’s a mind-boggling case from the Morris County Courthouse in New Jersey, according to Bill Chappell at NPR’s The Two-Way:

An 18-year-old honor roll student named Rachel Canning is suing her parents for financial support and money for college after being kicked out of the house for behavioral issues (“one or two school suspensions, drinking, losing her captaincy on the cheerleading squad and being kicked out of the campus ministry”). Canning says her parents abandoned her and is currently living with her best friend, Jaime Inglesino, whose father is an attorney and is helping Canning sue her parents. Canning’s requests were denied by a judge in the first round of hearings in the case.


Two States Offer Proposals to Pay for College; Economists Like Neither of Them

Two states Oregon and Tennessee consider two new ways to fund college tuition: Tennessee is considering the “Tennessee Promise,” which proposes free tuition for two years of community college or technical school and would be funded through sales of lottery tickets. Oregon is considering “The Pay It Forward” program, which I’ve previously discussed here, in which students would pay no tuition upfront—rather they’d pay a small percentage of their income for a set number of years after graduating from college.


Duke Says $60K Tuition Is a Bargain

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it’s $60,000 a year. “It’s staggering,” says Duke freshman Max Duncan, “especially considering that for four years.”

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that’s actually a discount. “We’re investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student,” he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it’s one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.



The Odds of Having Your Letter of Recommendation Read

Julie Schumacher, a professor of creative writing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities wrote in the Chronicle of Higher of Education that she received more than 1,500 letters of recommendation to read and went through just half of them.


The $10,000 College Degree

If you could get a four-year degree for $10,000 or less, would you choose that option? In Florida, an increasing number of working adults are doing just that by getting their bachelor’s degree from places like Broward College, a former community college. It’s essentially a rebranding of the community college experience:

The FCS (formerly the Florida Community College System) has offered a small number of four-year degrees in fields such as nursing and computer engineering technology for about a decade. In Florida, associate’s degree graduates are guaranteed admission to a state university, and FCS baccalaureate programs honor this structure by requiring students to complete an associate’s degree before applying.


The President Swears There is Nothing Wrong With an Art History Degree

On a trip to Wisconsin this week to talk about his proposal to revitalize American manufacturing, President Obama took a little swipe at art history majors.


How Are the MOOCs Doing?

The researchers note that this doesn’t mean that online courses aren’t working—just that there were a lot of curious people who were simply browsing and dropping as the courses became available.


Broken Glass

We went to see a 10am screening of Tiny Furniture at the Alamo Drafthouse, where I ordered myself a Manhattan I didn’t need and couldn’t particularly afford.


The Intangible Value of a College Degree

When it comes to determining the value of a college degree, much of the conversation revolves around what a graduate’s potential earnings will be after obtaining a degree, though not everyone works solely for money. So starting in the spring and for the next five years, polling agency Gallup and Purdue University will begin to survey 150,000 college graduates (30,000 at a time) to find out “how the graduates perceive the effect of college on their careers and quality of life.”


Supplies Needed to Return to School

How much to apply to school?