Archive | Evaluating Schools

Ditching Lecture Halls at MIT

Underclassmen have been attending classes at universities the same way for generations. Students plunk down in a large lecture hall and listen (sometimes) to the professor droning up on a stage. The difference for today’s students is that increasingly it’s difficult to fall asleep during these lectures because the halls are often so jammed that […]

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Cutting the Cost of College

An increasing number of high school seniors are deciding to skip applying to private colleges and universities because they worry that the costs will be too high in these hard economic times. That was the gist of a story in today’s New York Times. While it’s always essential to apply to financial safety schools, families […]

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The Double Major Bind

I was talking to a professor at the University of California, San Diego, at a dinner party earlier this year about colleges (naturally) and we ended up discussing why it’s taking so long for kids to get college degrees today. At UCSD the four-year graduation rate is 53%. While that number is underwhelming for a […]

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Paying for College In Hard Times

Whenever I talk to parents or kids about college there’s one topic that always stuns them. The topic? Four-year graduation rates at many state universities. Out here in California, there are lots of schools in the Cal State system where the four-year graduation rates is below 10%. Nationwide the four-year graduation rate at public universities […]

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The Perils of Part-Time Professors

Here is one of the cruel realities of getting a college degree today: While prices keep going up so do the number of part-time professors who are teaching on college campuses. Why does this matter? Because part-time instructors can pose a threat to your child finishing his or her degree. Unfortunately I didn’t get a […]

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Higher Ed and the Next President

It’s ridiculous trying to compete with the election hoopla, but I’m going to try and then I’ll be following the returns for the rest of the night… During the Bush years, the federal government argued that colleges and universities needed to prove that they are successfully educating their students. While I agreed with George W. […]

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The 10 Secrets of America's Best Colleges

I’ve always been a nag about college rankings. It’s unfortunate that the first yardstick that many families grab when they are measuring schools is the annual US college rankings by U.S. News & World Reports. Simply whining about college rankings, however, isn’t very helpful, which is why I’m excited about a new report that was […]

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