College

Some Owners of Private Colleges Turn a Tidy Profit by Going Nonprofit

For profit colleges have been a menace in the world of higher education for many decades now, but Patricia Cohen explores how the latest move towards exploiting college students has been for these colleges to claim not-for-profit status. The tax exempt salaries of these college officials hit 6 to 7 figures annually, while saddling young college students with debt that their degrees do not help pay back. But the government is not far behind the chase – for-profit schools that cannot prove that the educations their students receive will enable them to repay student loans can have their state funding cut off. But not-for-profit schools are not subjected to such scrutiny, making the switch even more beneficial for money-hungry universities.

Read an excerpt of the article written by Patricia Cohen:

After a recent government crackdown on the multibillion-dollar career-training industry, stricter limits on student aid and devastating publicity about students hobbled by debt and useless credentials, some for-profit schools simply shut down. But a few others have instead dropped out of the for-profit business altogether, in favor of a more traditional approach to running a higher education institution. And the nonprofit sector, it turns out, can still be quite profitable. Consider Keiser University in Florida. In 2011, the Keiser family, the school’s founder and owner, sold it to a tiny nonprofit called Everglades College, which it had created. ...read more

College’s Priceless Value

Frank Bruni explores the question of education for education’s sake. Considering that the Senator of Wisconsin recently proposed cuts to university funding, behind claims that they are not dedicated to boosting the work force, the question of education is in the air. Certain schools of thought clearly favour utility over intellectual curiosity, but Bruni believes that a good education does more than simply secure one a job. A good education is a gateway to a holistic existence, signaling personal growth. So why do we value productivity over curiosity? Why is education a means and not an end?

Read an excerpt of the article written by Frank Bruni:

What’s the most transformative educational experience you’ve had? I was asked this question recently, and for a few seconds it stumped me, mainly because I’ve never viewed learning as a collection of eureka moments. It’s a continuum, a lifelong awakening to the complexity of the world. But then something did come to mind, not a discrete lesson but a moving image, complete with soundtrack. I saw a woman named Anne Hall swooning and swaying as she stood at the front of a classroom in Chapel Hill, N.C., and explained the rawness and majesty of emotion in ‘‘King Lear.’’ I heard three words: ‘‘Stay a little.’’ They’re Lear’s plea to Cordelia, the truest of his three daughters, as she slips away. When Hall recited them aloud, it wasn’t just her voice that trembled. It was all of her. ...read more

Focusing on work to attract colleges’ eye

In this article, Ron Lieber writes about the use of work in an undergraduate applicant’s admission essay. Writing about social class is difficult, given how mixed up adolescents often are about identity. Yet it is this very reluctance that makes tackling the topic a risk worth taking at schools where it is hard to stand out from the thousands of other applicants. He mentions some essays of applicants which left Chris Lanser stunned. Lanser feels that there are valuable life skills and people skills to be gained in the workplace.

Read an excerpt of the article written by Ron Lieber:

Of the 1,200 or so undergraduate admission essays that Chris Lanser reads each year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, maybe 10 are about work. This is not much of a surprise. Many applicants have never worked. Those with plenty of money may be afraid of calling attention to their good fortune. And writing about social class is difficult, given how mixed up adolescents often are about identity. Yet it is this very reluctance that makes tackling the topic a risk worth taking at schools where it is hard to stand out from the thousands of other applicants. ...read more

The Opposite of Loneliness Essays and Stories

The poignant article by Marina Keegan, “The Opposite of Loneliness” deals with the author’s fears and hopes on graduating from college. She fears getting lost in the modern web, and losing the safety that college provides, both physically and mentally. But she also look back to what all her experiences in college have taught her, and decides to use them to quell her fears going into years ahead. Her first and unfortunately last book (author now deceased) of the same title deals with similar themes. 

Read an excerpt of the article written by Marina Keegan:

The Opposite of Loneliness We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow after Commencement and leave this place. It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four A.M. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats. Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers—partnerless, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group texts. This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse, I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now. But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m thirty. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should have . . . ,” “if I’d . . . ,” “wish I’d . . .” Of course, there are things we wish we’d done: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my high school self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us. But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes . . .). We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay. We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out—that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. .... 

Investing in Our Future at Community Colleges

In the article, David Brooks mentions the human capital component in President Obama’s plan to make community colleges free: return on investment. A national policy to offer free community college tuition is a crucial investment in and commitment to our social contract. America prospers because we invest in people, ideas, infrastructure, research, design, education and health care because of the confirmed two-year participation in a national service corps. David Brooks recommends on focussing on a student’s living expenses, mentoring relationships and the “remedial education mess” rather than tuition, which is likely to benefit those for whom community college is already affordable, are on target.

Read an excerpt of the article written by David Brooks:

There is a human capital component to President Obama’s plan to make community colleges free: return on investment. The $60 billion that would be spent over a decade is an investment in our civic future. Our return for that financial commitment should be service to the country, which could include work as a teacher, nurse, engineer, firefighter or police officer. A national policy to offer free community college tuition is a crucial investment in and commitment to our social contract. But let’s be clear about the cost. The tuition isn’t “free”; our citizens cover the cost of “free.” I propose a simple plan: When students agree to accept the tuition (and complete their education), that contract confirms their two-year participation in a national service corps. America prospers because we invest in people, ideas, infrastructure, research, design, education and health care. This is the fabric of the social contract that each generation knows: Invest early, often and with compassion, and watch your returns build the future. MICHAEL G. SIEVERS Portland, Ore., Jan. 21, 2015 To the Editor: “The important task is to help students graduate,” David Brooks says, noting that community college dropout rates now hover somewhere between 66 and 80 percent. Setting graduation as the ultimate goal, however, may be a mistake when technology is changing education and work. Diplomas based on college-mandated credits are becoming anachronistic as online courses become better and more pervasive. ..read more