Aaron Bady, a postdoctoral fellow at UT-Austin and cultural critic, has an editorial in Aljazeera America arguing why public universities should be free. Bady goes into the history of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, which was developed by the UC Regents and State Board of Education in the 1960s and noted that: “The two governing boards reaffirm[ed] the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition free to all residents of the state.” Then, there was a clear cost distinction between public colleges and private colleges, which has become muddied today.
Generation Progress (formerly Campus Progress) is putting together state-by-state factsheets about the student debt crisis. They’ve done six states so far, including California, where I went as an undergrad. State and local funding dropped by 25.4 percent in the U.C. system in the last decade, and in-state tuition has now skyrocketed by 114 percent, according to data from the College Board.
Now if this sounds a little too much like starting a Pinterest board for you wedding before you meet someone you want to spend your life with (not that I don’t support that), let me explain. Or try!
A 529 account, for the uninitiated, is kind of like an IRA but instead of investing money for retirement, you’re putting money in a mutual fund for college expenses. Like 401k’s and IRA’s, the earnings you make are tax-deferred. That shit can just grow and grow (or yes, shrink, but sssh, it’ll be in there for 20+ years and we aren’t going to think about that) and you don’t even have to report it on your taxes.
Colleges say they don’t really think too much about their U.S. News rankings, but of course that’s not true. Whether or not those rankings matter is a whole ‘nother discussion. Chicago Magazine examines the University of Chicago’s recent dip in rankings (from 4 to tied to 5, behind Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia) and what the university has been doing to maintain its prestige.
The Academe Blog has a servicey post about how to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act, which forgives federal direct loans for those who work full-time (at least 30 hours a week) in federal, state, or local government agencies or tax-exempt non-profit organizations after making 120 monthly on-time payments on your loans. You can read more generally about it at the Federal Student Aid site.
In the Washington Post, Joe Heim, a father of a six-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter discusses a thing a lot of parents go through: Wanting to save for his kids’ college educations, but not actually saving for his kids’ college educations.