Colleges trying new ways to keep students from dropping out

Technology has helped trim college dropout rates.

Things were going well for Job Asiimwe as he approached his final semester at Bunker Hill Community College here last winter. Then a toothache almost derailed his college career.

Asiimwe, an immigrant from Uganda who’s been on his own since age 19, was close to graduating.

He had been accepted to a bachelor’s degree program at a college in Vermont and his plan to become a lawyer seemed within reach — until something in his mouth began to throb.…Read More

Students stage ‘textbook rebellion’ at University of Maryland

Plotkin spoke to students gathered outside a UMD library.

College students are going without required textbooks, doing their best to eke through the semester without shelling out hundreds in their campus bookstores. With inexpensive alternatives sparse, a group of college activists—backed by the Obama administration—is railing against skyrocketing textbook prices … one campus at a time.

The Textbook Rebellion, a nationwide tour of 40 campuses in 14 states during the fall semester, kicked off Aug. 31 at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) College Park campus, where officials from the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), student leaders, and an Obama administration official rallied for more open-source textbook options, both online and in print, that could trim students’ annual $1,000 book bill.

Textbook Rebellion launched a website that collects petition signatures aiming to show the widespread support for course textbooks that cost $30 or less, including online books that can be converted to traditional texts through an inexpensive printing process. Student PIRG officials said they hope to collect 10,000 signatures over the next six weeks.…Read More