college

Competency-based education is in vogue — even though most people have never heard of it, and those who have can't always agree on what it is.

From Foster Care To Freshman Year

Jan 6, 2015

By the time she aged out of foster care, Jasmine Uqdah had spent nearly half her life in the system. On a summer day in 2008, Uqdah grabbed her duffel bag and two small garbage bags, and she stuffed everything she owned inside.

It wasn't much — just some clothes and a few stuffed animals. She said her goodbyes to her foster family in Detroit and moved out. She was 18 years old.

Driven by higher tuition fees and tighter state funds, America's public colleges now get more money from their students than from all state sources. That's according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, which says tuition revenue reached 25 percent of the colleges' total in 2012.

The numbers are stark, with the GAO saying that from fiscal years 2003-2012, "state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges."

Laurie Fendrich took a buyout from Hofstra University to retire when she was 66-years-old. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fendrich argues that other college professors should follow her example because remaining on faculty indefinitely is bad for students and universities.

When College Is Not For Everyone

Dec 17, 2014

There’s a disconnect between education and business, says Bill Symonds. He believes the education system is not adequately preparing young people to enter the workforce and lead successful lives.

When it comes to higher education, we've all heard the talking points: More people than ever are pursuing four-year degrees — despite skyrocketing tuition costs — because they don't have many other choices if they want to be competitive in the workforce.

NW Colleges Showcase Innovations In Campus Sustainability

Nov 7, 2014

In the Reuse Room at Portland State University, everything is free and the door is always open.

Students and staff can walk into the converted mailroom anytime to donate or take supplies, ranging from three-ring binders to iPods.

Schools often struggle to investigate cases of sexual assault, and even more so when they occur between people of the same gender.

But a new law aimed at college campuses — which takes effect today — expands the definition of sexual violence to include dating violence and stalking and to clarify that same-sex assaults are covered, too.

John Kelly, a senior at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., helped make those new rules.

How much would you pay a counselor to help your child get into a top college? And what if that fee came with a guarantee, or your money back?

If your child works with Steven Ma, owner and founder of Think Tank Learning, the starting fee for guaranteed admission is about $40,000. But some kids, with special contracts, pay between $600,000 and $1,000,0000.

Free College For All: Dream, Promise Or Fantasy?

Jun 19, 2014

"Free" is a word with a powerful appeal. And right now it's being tossed around a lot, followed by another word: "college."

A new nonprofit, Redeeming America's Promise, announced this week that it will seek federal support to make public colleges tuition-free. That effort is inspired by "Hope" and "Promise" programs like the one in Kalamazoo, Mich., which pays up to 100 percent of college tuition at state colleges and universities for graduates of the city's public high schools.

Flickr Photo/Trinity College (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Andrew Rossi, director of a new documentary "Ivory Tower" that asks the question, is a college education worth the skyrocketing cost of tuition?

Rossi, himself a Harvard and Yale graduate, examines the one trillion dollar student debt (now higher than credit card debt), the reasons higher education costs more, and the shake-out out that could take down many smaller liberal arts colleges.

Is This Any Way To Pick A College?

May 20, 2014

There are more than 7,000 colleges in the U.S., and 21.8 million students enrolled in them. That's potentially 21.8 million opinions about what makes a school "the best."

The penalty for a bad choice can be huge. The cost of a degree continues to soar, graduation rates vary widely from college to college, and a growing body of evidence suggests that picking a supposedly "top" school doesn't necessarily pay off later in life.

Graduation Season? More like Disinvitation Season.

As students across the country prepare for pomp and circumstance, college and university administrators are grappling with a series of commencement speech boondoggles.

This year alone, nearly a dozen big-name commencement speakers — including the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — have been invited to speak at graduation ceremonies, only to withdraw or have their invitations rescinded in the wake of campus protests.

The Department of Education has released a list of 55 colleges and universities facing investigation under Title IX for their handling of sexual abuse claims.

Releasing the list is described as an unprecedented move. NPR's Brian Naylor says the list "starts at Arizona State University and ends at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine."

In reporting on students navigating the maze of college costs and financial aid, I kept running into misconceptions about paying for a degree. Here are some of the most common ones:

Low-income students get most of their college financial aid needs met and rich kids don't have to worry, so it's mainly the middle class that gets squeezed.

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