Community College Now Free in Tennessee

Starting in Fall 2015, all high school graduates in the state of Tennessee now qualify for free in-state tuition at two-year colleges across the state. via Inside Higher Ed


Injured While Adjuncting

Linda Lee is a part-time faculty member who slipped on ice and fell at a university where she was teaching. She recently wrote an informative post at The Adjunct Project on worker’s compensation from the perspective as an injured adjunct.


An Accident Paid Off My MFA Debt

Just over a month before I entered the graduate writing program at The New School I was struck by a car as I stepped into a crosswalk on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Along with minor abrasions, my left ear was mangled beyond repair, and as I faced a handful of surgeries in the months and years ahead, I worried how these might affect my expensive education.  I would plan each surgery around a break from school so that I could miss the least number of classes possible. At the time this was how I connected grad school to my accident, along with the knowledge that I would have to get the hell over it; I had an M.F.A. dream to fulfill.


The Weird World of Financial Aid at Boarding Schools

Paul Sullivan at the Times covers the strangely inconsistent and subjective ways fancy private schools dole out financial aid to prospective students. In a world where tuition is so expensive even parents who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year apply for financial aid — and get it! — each school has its own system, and lemme tell you, it ain’t no FAFSA.


Are the Suburbs Worth It?

I cannot pretend to do a useful comparison of the relative costs of city renting and suburban home ownership. There are too many variables and too many personal preferences to offer any insight. (In my own highly idiosyncratic experience, renting has proved a better deal, but your mileage may vary.) But what about the schools? They are better, sure, but how much better? How much more should a monthly mortgage payment be than monthly rent to live in a neighborhood with less crime? And is something else lost when we sacrifice a communitarian investment in a place for individual advantage, and in the transaction raise our children with less exposure to economic and ethnic diversity?


Discussing the “Crisis in the Humanities”

As someone who studied the humanities and not a STEM field (to the horror of my tiger parents), but has built a life and a living off of having higher education degrees in the humanities, I am always interested in reading pieces about “the crisis” in this particular field (as an aside, the crisis in STEM has been mostly revolved around how it lacks women).

This piece comes from our neighbors up north at the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE). Stephen Slemon, the president of ACCUTE, recently gave this speech in his opening remarks while on a panel at Ryerson University.

We meet tonight in the darkening shadow of a humanities crisis industry, and here are just a few of the recent headlines. “Humanities Fall From Favour.” “Prestige of Humanities at All-Time Low.” “Oh, the humanities. Big trouble, but there’s still some hope.”


When We Took the SAT

Mike: Ester, the SATs are back in the news cycle this week and it something I thought I would not have to think about ever again after high school.


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


What Do You Do With a Ph.D. in Literature?

Whatever the reasons (and there were oh so many reasons), I went ahead and finished a goddamn doctoral degree in English Literature, which serves mostly now to punctuate mundane office chatter with the occasional “Doctor Au” joke. Get it?


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.



Teaching Macroeconomics Via Planet Money Episodes

I listen to the Planet Money podcast every week, and am a big fan of the show. William Luther, an assistant professor of economics at Kenyon College, is too, and has used the show in his classes to teach principles of macroeconomics and has argued that it has increased understanding and engagement among his students.


Solving Tech’s Diversity Problem Where It Starts: In School

Nona Willis Aronowitz’s latest for NBC News is an informative look at the lack of diversity in the STEM fields and what can be done about it. An analysis of last year’s College Board data shows that of 30,000 students who took AP Computer Science exam in 2013, only 8% and 3% of test takers were Hispanic and African-American, respectively.