College might not be for everyone

StudentsShould all students be heading to college after high school? That question is the subject of a recent Forbes article released last week. The article, which examines arguments for and against higher education in today’s cultural and economic climate, is not only a powerful piece in its own right, but seems to be a fairly blatant rebuttal to a recent New York Times article that concluded, unequivocally, that college is the way to go for everyone.

The New York Times article, by David Leonhardt, makes the point that in today’s world the 13 years of education that US citizens receive throughout their childhood and teen years is becoming less and less efficient. He argues that 15 or 17 years of education is the new “universal goal” and is increasingly viewed as standard by employers. He argues that this point becomes increasingly clear with the increasing technological complexity of the modern workspace.

Adam Ozimek, a writer for Forbes, agrees with many of Leonhardt’s points, but says that the notion that college is a good investment for everyone is a fallacy. Largely, he argues, this is due to the financial background a college applicant might come from, which has a direct influence on the amount of loans they will likely need to take out in order to pay for school, and how long it will take them to start earning more money than if they had simply began work out of high school (if ever).

He also argues that there are many cases in which people already in college are not making the best decision. This is largely dependent on the actual degree being studied, and a recent study pointed out several fields, including literature and English degrees, in which, even 20 years after graduation, the average graduate can still be well over $100,000 short of the amount of money they would have had at the same point in their lives had they begun a career at 18.

With the increasing popularity of college attendance, other skilled work which does not require a specific degree is starting to pay more. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited several careers – real estate broker, service mail carrier, police and sheriff’s patrol officer, gas plant operator, and more – that all carry median salaries of over $50,000 per year.

Omizek argues that these represent a few of the cases in which non-college graduates may have salaries that top of those of their collegiate counterparts, especially at the entry level.

Even so, he stresses that it is still true that college-educated workers will have higher wages on average, and higher earning potentials in the long run of their careers. For many people, college will be a beneficial decision and will pay off. His intention, he says, is to simply state that college is not necessarily the end-all be-all solution for all young people. “We need more realism in this debate,” he says, and it appears his article is simply meant to provide a bit of this other perspective.

Tennessee Promise set to lower barriers to higher education

GraduationTennessee governor Bill Haslam has been working on something special for Tennessee’s college hopefuls for some time now. It’s called the Tennessee Promise, and it’s been designed with the goal of having 55% or more of Tennessee’s adult population in possession of a college degree by 2025.

The program does a number of things to change the traditional path to higher education for its applicants: Any eligible student who applies will be able to go to a community college or the Tennessee College of Applied Technology without the need for entrance exams like the ACT or SAT, nor the need to pay tuition or any other fees for activities, student organization memberships, etc. These students will then be able to earn degrees for free, provided they check in regularly with an assigned mentor and maintain satisfactory academic standing with the institution they’re attending. [Read more...]

University of Washington Huskies unveil 3 new uniforms for 2014 season

StadiumThe University of Washington athletics department has recently unveiled a series of jerseys to be worn by its football players in the coming fall season. The uniforms – one for home games, one for away games, and one “alternate” design – have been developed by Nike designers working closely with the school. The final designs draw heavily not only on the school’s history but also on the lore of the Husky, the team’s long-running mascot. [Read more...]

UC San Diego receives generous gift from a grateful patient

ResearchUC San Diego can see their goals a little more clearly now, after an appreciative unnamed patient donated $6.5 million to the department of ophthalmology at the Shiley Eye Center on campus. The substantial gift will be used to help create the Richard C. Atkinson Laboratory for Regenerative Ophthalmology. [Read more...]

UC Santa Cruz receives big donation for environmental field study

Rain ForestUC Santa Cruz, nestled in the heart of green meadows and a sprawling redwood forest, has always been the greenest University of California. Rallies and drives supporting eco-friendly living and sustainability are common on the 6,088-acre campus. Now, as one of the largest contributions to the $300-million “Campaign for UC Santa Cruz,” the Packard Foundation has donated $2 million in support of another environmental cause: natural history fieldwork. [Read more...]

University of Florida students create new obesity prevention programs

ApprovedAs reported by University Herald, students attending the University of Florida are creating programs to prevent obesity for high school students as well as peers. This is part of a federal research and extension grant of $4.9 million that was officially awarded last week, as school officials announced. A study from America’s Health Rankings found that in the state of Florida, approximately 3.7 million adults are considered to be physically inactive and around 4 million adults are considered to be obese. [Read more...]

Student ID is not enough to vote in Tennessee

VotedOwning a student ID might not be enough to allow people to vote in Tennessee. Beginning this week, voters in 10 states, among them Tennessee and Texas, are now required to present a valid photo ID before casting ballots. But students in Tennessee can’t use their student IDs. The Tennessee Senate State & Local Government Committee denied a bill that would have allowed people with valid photo ID issued by an official public institution of higher education to use it in order to vote.

However, gun owners can vote no matter what. Right now, there are six acceptable types of ID that voters in Tennessee can use at the polls: a federal government ID, a state government ID, a passport, a driver’s license, a handgun permit, and a military ID. [Read more...]

Texas now offers a college degree for $15k in tuition

Texas A&MA couple of Texas colleges are now offering bachelor’s degrees for no more than $15,000.

In 2011, the Texas governor, Rick Perry, gave a challenge to Texas universities and schools to create inexpensive options to ever-more-costly degree programs, and that included a bachelor’s degree that would cost less than $10,000 in tuition for the entire four years. The majority of schools said that it couldn’t be achieved.

They could be right, but luckily two universities accepted the challenge, and that means Texans will have a chance to see whether it’s even possible for a student to get a reputable, useful degree without taking on lifelong loan burdens. [Read more...]