Amazon to sell cheaper Kindle with on-screen ads

Amazon.com Inc. is dropping the price on its Kindle e-reader, but the change comes with a trade-off: On-screen ads, reports the Associated Press. The online retailer was set to announce Tuesday that the new Kindle with Special Offers will cost $114–$25 less than the currently lowest-priced Kindle–and include advertisements on the bottom of the device’s home page and on its screen savers. Seattle-based Amazon will start shipping the newest Kindle on May 3, and it will also be sold in Target and Best Buy stores on that date…

Click here for the full story

tags

For-profit regulations, Pell Grants survive budget compromise

Experts expect lawmakers to keep Pell Grant funding at its current level.

Washington’s last-minute budget deal did not include a provision that would have killed a stringent for-profit college regulation, and Pell Grants remained intact despite deep cuts in education spending over the next six months.

The for-profit regulations pushed by the Obama administration for more than two years would affect some of the nation’s largest online colleges, such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University, by stripping schools of federal loan money if too many of their students maintain high loan debt-to-income ratios, among other provisions.

Read more on for-profit college regulations…

Analysis shows high student loan default rate at for-profit colleges

For-profit college shares dropping as ED rules approach

For-profit schools hit back as ED finalizes regulations

Although the anti-regulation provision was pushed primarily by Congressional Republicans, a bipartisan letter was submitted April 4 that would have barred the U.S. Department of Education (ED) from implementing the new regulations on for-profit programs.

The provision – or “rider” – to the budget compromise was left out of the final agreement, however, paving the way for gainful employment rules to take effect July 1, 2012, as ED outlined last fall.

The letter supporting the end of gainful employment rules – signed by 12 House members — charged that regulating for-profit colleges would “harm job creation” and prevent 400,000 people annually from entering the workforce with “new skills.”

“These regulations are a clear example of federal overreach into the affairs of American institutions of higher education,” the letter said.

tags

Md. House OKs illegal immigrant in-state tuition

As many southern states pass news laws to crack down on illegal immigrants, the Maryland General Assembly on Friday moved toward allowing them to pay in-state college tuition, if they meet certain conditions, the Associated Press reports. The Maryland House voted 74-66 on Friday for the measure after intense debate. The Senate already has passed similar legislation. Democratic supporters say the legislation would create opportunity for people who have lived in Maryland for years and paid state taxes…

Click here for the full story

tags

Budget deal allows regulations to move forward on for-profit colleges

Much of Friday’s last-minute budget gridlock centered on policy disputes over funding for Planned Parenthood and environmental regulations. But another largely unnoticed provision at play in last week’s negotiations involved rules that would regulate billions of dollars of federal student loan and grant money allotted to college programs with a track record of poor student outcomes, reports the Huffington Post. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed on Saturday that the final deal will not include a measure that would have prevented the Obama administration from cracking down on certain schools…

Click here for the full story

tags

If you can’t name that star, try asking your telescope

Longtime stargazers learned the basics of the night sky the hard way–with pencils, star charts and lots of patience with their telescopes, reports the New York Times. Now high-tech equipment and smartphone apps are making the task a lot less daunting for beginners. New point-and-shoot telescopes, for example, require only the push of a button to go into action: Plunk one down in the driveway and the device gets its own bearings, aligning itself with the stars above so it can tell you that the twinkling light in the eyepiece is Betelgeuse…

Click here for the full story

tags

Adobe turns the tablet into a Photoshop companion

Adobe has launched the Photoshop Touch SDK, enabling developers to create applications that can interact with the desktop version of Photoshop on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms, Mashable reports. To showcase the possibilities of the software development kit, Adobe has initially launched three Photoshop CS5 companion apps for the iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop…

Click here for the full story

tags

Could Google Books ruling affect college textbook market?

Three in four college students prefer printed textbooks.

Advocates for Google’s massive digital library say the online repository is inevitable, despite recent setbacks, and could present an entirely new option for college textbooks.

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin on March 22 rejected a deal between Google and the book industry that would have put millions of volumes online, citing antitrust concerns and the need for Congressional action on the issue.

Chin, in his decision, said an online book repository would be beneficial for researchers, libraries, and schools, echoing advocacy from prominent campuses in recent years, including Stanford University and Cornell University.

Attorneys from all sides of the Google Books dispute are expected to gather in late April to discuss how the agreement between Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) will change after Chin’s ruling.

Many campuses that have lent support to Google Books have created their own digital book collections—modest online libraries when compared to the scope of Google’s collection of about 15 million works.

If Google Books is expanded to a modern-day Library of Alexandria—as many in higher education expect—students struggling to keep up with rising textbook costs might have a cheap option that would compete with online textbook rental services that have gained traction nationwide.

“The way in which I can see Google Books making a dramatic impact on our library and its students is with textbooks,” said Amy Stempler, coordinator of library instruction at the College of Staten Island City University of New York. “The circulation of our textbook reserves continues to increase, as does the cost of such books. So if they were available for free online, I would imagine it would be a most enticing option whose effect would be measurable.”

tags

Yale being investigated as ‘hostile sexual environment’

A group of 16 Yale University students and have filed a complaint against the school for failing to eliminate a “hostile sexual environment”, NPR News reports. The complainants, both male and female, say Yale failed them in the school’s handling of sexually-related complaints. They also claim the university has violated a federal law that requires gender equality in all education programs that receive government funding. Guest host Allison Keyes speaks to Russlynn Ali of the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office, which is investigating the allegations…

Click here for the full story

tags

Arizona board approves steep tuition hikes

Getting a higher education here in Arizona just got a lot more expensive, reports KPHO CBS 5 News. The Arizona Board of Regents voted Thursday to increase tuition at Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. At ASU, incoming freshmen will pay $9,716 next fall. That’s a 19.5 percent increase…

Click here for the full story

tags

College ROI: What we found

The PayScale methodology reveals which schools prepare students for well-paying careers and which schools make for poor investments, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. When Bloomberg Businessweek and PayScale last year inaugurated their ranking of the top U.S. colleges for return on investment, the main finding was a shocker. At a time when experts were trumpeting the value of a college education, our analysis showed that it was worth a fraction of what was previously thought, less than $400,000 over 30 years’ time. Only four schools had 30-year ROI in excess of $1.6 million, the highest previous estimate…

Click here for the full story

tags