A Warning Label for College; The Urgency of Rising Tuition

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Today in academia: a warning label for higher education, being urgent about rising tuition costs, a single-sex dorm complaint gets dismissed and finally getting used to video game-based classes.

  • A warning label for every college education. "[W]e require tires to mold a report card into its sidewall, packaged food to bear a nutrition information label, home sellers to provide pages of disclosures to prospective buyers...." And you get the picture. So, why not just require "critical consumer information" to be listed on every single college website by the government, proposes a Washington Post op-ed contributor. Ok. But let's go further and say that the government slapped a cigarette pack-like warning label across every cheesy college brochure. What would the the label look like? A sad graduate iconically staring off into the distance at commencement? Or maybe one of those pictures of a dollar bill or "hire me" taped on to a graduation cap? Maybe those aren't obvious enough: how about just a chart showing skyrocketing student loan debt? [The Washington Post]
  • And tuition costs just keep on.... The headline "Official Calls for Urgency on College Costs" might have been a candidate for a "Worthwhile Canadian Initiative" award if the topic of discussion--lowering tuition costs--wasn't such an important issue that's been getting a lot of attention recently. Unfortunately, it still seems like the "official's call," Education Secretary Arne Duncan's plea in Las Vegas yesterday, may be falling on deaf ears anyway, even though the urgency is necessary:  "We’ve put huge amounts into Pell grants under Clinton, Bush and Obama, but the money that went to financial aid has been absorbed by tuition increases. And with all that we’ve invested, we have a less affordable system than we had a decade ago. We’re on a national treadmill." [The New York Times]
  • D.C.'s Catholic University can have single-sex dorms if it wants to. The college, which is something of a poster-child for the endless debate over whether it matters if college students live in co-ed dorms or not, won't have to jump through any legal loopholes from the D.C.'s Office of Human Rights. As the Associated Press reported, the office dismissed a George Washington University Law professor's complaint "arguing that the practice constitutes sex discrimination." Equal facilities are just fine in this case, they relayed to the AP.[Associated Press via Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Universities are buying ".xxx" domains too.  Just like corporations who don't want their name or brand associated with the pornographic web domains, Inside Higher Ed reports that most universities are following suit to protect their institutions. Especially, the news outlet reports, when it comes to their sports programs: "The University of Nebraska has applied for “Huskers.xxx.” Duke University has snatched up 'BlueDevils.xxx.' A search of the ICM Registry’s database of available dot-XXX domains shows that other high-profile collegiate team names have been either requested or put on reserve, including 'Aggies,' 'Hokies,' 'Boilermakers,' 'Vols,' and 'Sooners.'” [Inside Higher Ed]
  • Professor: "I use games to, in some sense, throw away the textbook." Maybe those words from an engineering professor who's teaching college students with video games would've been surprising awhile ago, but after reading so much about being "platform agnostic" and such, it just seems like the new normal. USA Today finds that three's a trend with video game adoption in the classroom: "At Boston College, nursing students conduct forensics at a virtual crime scene. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a game called Melody Mixer teaches students how to read and compose music. Students at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., play World of Warcraft, a multiplayer online game, in a course on intelligence studies." Wait, what? [USA Today]

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