Growing up, I did exactly what was expected of me. I worked hard through high school and was the first in my family to graduate from college, thanks to the federal Pell Grant, an academic scholarship and work-study program, says a contributor for TakePart.com. Despite that, I still walked away with massive student loans. I don’t regret my choice because my education is the one thing no one can take away from me. But, like too many of my friends, I am now buried in student debt. By the time I pay off my loans, I’ll be in my 50s. And like many of my peers, I’m thinking differently about major life decisions, like buying a home or car or having kids, because I have too much student debt to pay off first. My story isn’t unique. More and more, skyrocketing college costs are forcing students to take on crippling debt in order to get the education they need. Since the early 1980s, tuition and fees have increased 538 percent—that’s almost twice as fast as healthcare costs. Over two-thirds of all college students currently borrow in order to finance their education. Even so, I was shocked to learn that Americans now owe more than $1 trillion on student loans……Read More
Every night thousands of people go to bed stressed about their student loan debt, TakePart.com reports. A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that outstanding student loan debt in the United States stands at $956 billion. It also stated that more student loan borrowers are currently falling behind on their payments. Now, there’s one more worry to throw into the mix. Some colleges and universities—Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and George Washington University—are suing former students for less than $10,000 because they have defaulted on Perkins loans. Bloomberg reports that students defaulted on $964 million in Perkins loans in the year that ended June 2011. Currently, about 80 percent of student loans are guaranteed by the government……Read More
With days to go before classes begin, it’s not uncommon for department heads, or even deans, to ask adjunct professors to take on last-minute teaching assignments, TakePart.com reports. For one professor, this offer was tempting. She was a “part-time” professor and her husband was unemployed. She had taken on more classes at several area colleges in order to support her family and afford health insurance. Despite the extra work, she was still making under $25K per year. The professor knew that refusing the offer could mark her as “uncooperative” and torpedo her chances for a full-time teaching position. Yet she knew there was no way she—or any of her colleagues—could take on yet another class. Better to cancel the class, she suggested to the dean, than to give students a teacher who cannot serve her students. The dean nodded gravely and said with some urgency, “But we don’t want to cancel the class. Really, all we need is a warm body in the classroom.”…Read More
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with constant technology and personal computers. That might explain why they see such a value in online education, Takepart.com reports. A recent poll by Northeastern University showed that 18 to 29 year olds had a more negative view about attending college because of the high cost, and a more positive opinion about online classes than their older counterparts. The survey also showed more than half of the millennials had taken an online course. Online education is attracting hundreds of thousands of students a year. Perhaps this is why more brick-and-mortar universities are searching for an online identity……Read More
Parents, high school students, and college counselors, listen up. I’ve got good news about those dreaded and bank-account-draining college admission tests and test prep programs, Takepart.com reports. What, you say? Good news in this landscape of worry? Worrying about getting in, about paying the ever-inflating college tuition, about whether the kid will be employable after the huge investments of time and money, and the accumulation of debt. Somewhere in that landscape is the worry about the SATs and ACTs. To prep or not to prep, which test to take and how many times to take it. Will the scores mean the college of the kid’s dreams is out of the question? I can’t erase all these worries, but I can certainly take the edge off……Read More
Student loan debt is at best, an unpleasant fact of life that ranks somewhere along the lines of a root canal, Takepart.com reports. But at worst, and for many, student loan debt can be ruinous. If that sounds overly dramatic, you don’t have student loan debt. Congratulations. For those considering college but discouraged about losing any chance at financial freedom later in life, there’s some good news. Belmont Abbey College just announced it’s restructuring its finances, marking down its yearly tuition by 33 percent. The school’s new price is by no means “bargain basement,” but it’s still more reasonable, dropping from about $28,000 per year to $18,500. This revamped tuition rate will be available to incoming freshman and transfer students starting in 2013……Read More
Civil rights leader Kenneth Clark once said to Howard Fuller, “Did my work even make a difference?” Like Clark, who was instrumental in the Supreme Court’s decision to desegregate schools in 1954, education advocate Howard Fuller has asked himself this same question, Takepart.com reports.
“If you really care and you live long enough,” Fuller, 71, says, you look back over your body of work and wonder what impact it has made.
Looking at Clark and Fuller’s bodies of work, it is not hard to see that both have made a major impact on education in America. For the last three decades, Howard Fuller has fought for education equality and school choice. He served as the superintendent of Milwaukee schools where he was a strong proponent of the voucher program, and is a Distinguished Professor of Education and the Founder and Director of Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University. The Institute empowers low-income families to choose the best education options for their children……Read More
Over the next couple of weeks, students will once again fill America’s college and university campuses—and they’ll be hungry. The cost to feed them? Five billion dollars, TakePart.com reports. But the health, social and environmental cost of most campus dining may be even higher than the monetary one, with the vast majority of that sum going to agribusinesses and junk food makers. What is needed, some say, is an influx of food to campuses that takes into account a concern for producers, consumers, communities, and the Earth.
“The issue is so potent because when students arrive on campus, especially freshmen, you’re forced to eat their meal plan,” says David Schwartz, cofounder and campaign director of the Real Food Campaign, a nationwide movement that works with young people to transform the food system. “We see it as a total right that students should have a say of what we put in our bodies.”
The primary goal of the Real Food Campaign (which is a program of Boston-based The Food Project) is to get colleges and universities to shift $1 billion nationally—just 20 percent of the total spending—from industrial food systems to “local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources”—what it calls “real food”—by 2020……Read More