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Today in academia: for-profits get a lot of federal cash, an unfunny stunt after being fired, a steep application fee with a lot of loopholes and a roller-coaster ride for an endowment.

  • How for-profit colleges make money, Example A.  Guess who's a beneficiary of taxpayer funds in the new Post 9/11 G.I. bill? It's the same for-profit colleges that get criticized for having more of their graduates default on student loans. Today, the Associated Press reports that the industry gets a large share of federal funds for enrolling veterans: "For-profits enrolled roughly 25 percent of veterans using the program but received 37 percent of the GI Bill funds." What was it that The Times Joe Nocera just said about for-profit colleges? Oh, right: "When industry reaps all the profit from student loans and the taxpayer has to pick up the losses, how can we be surprised when things turn out badly?"  [Associated Press]
  • The way you shouldn't react if you get fired. After being told he was let go, Texas A&M System Deputy Chancellor Jay T. Kimbrough pulled a pocket knife on the others in the room, reported Texas newspaper The Eagle. Kimbrough claims the whole thing was him just "being cynical and comical." But apparently police were called to the scene because he "alarming to individuals in the office," University Police Department Sgt. Allan Baron told the paper. By the way, Kimbrough was described as "a good friend" of Rick Perry, who's an A&M almunus. [The Eagle via Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • George Mason University has a steep $100 application fee with lots of loopholes.  Even though it was listed by U.S. News and Report as the highest application fee in the nation, the University waives away the fee for most students. Which begs the question about why it has the higher fee in the first place. After The Washington Post inquired, a spokesperson said: "Almost no one pays that...We're actually more friendly with our application fee than the 100 dollars would indicate." The school said it was trying to be green by asking people to apply online. And maybe make a few bucks from those who don't. [The Washington Post]
  • Yale's endowment has had a wild couple of years.  Look at this roller-coaster of a chart posted by the school's student newspaper on the University's endowment returns over the past five years. Like many schools, Yale's endowment wasn't doing great during the recession. But now it's doing better. Maybe. "Yale has not yet publicized how its endowment fared in the last fiscal year, but Provost Peter Salovey said Wednesday that he thinks the University is 'on track.'" [Yale Daily News]

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