Blog: Higher Ed Beat
College Admissions: The V.I.P. Treatment
Do students from wealthy or politically connected families get preference in the admissions process?
The wealthy and politically connected have many advantages in life. But do they really have an edge getting into the best colleges?
Some impressive investigative work by two journalists in Texas and Virginia reveals that family money and influence appear to have helped students get into at least two top public universities.
During a graduation season when congratulations are the usual fare, regret instead was the main course during an Education Writers Association seminar session about higher education polling. The potentially lucrative major discarded or the campus that could have become your beloved alma mater but didn’t: These were the emotional subjects tackled, backed with research methods of opinion surveys.
Nick Anderson didn’t have to be asked twice to get on a train to New York City.
A professor at Columbia University called the veteran Washington Post reporter last summer. She told him she had spoken with students who were making ends meet by engaging in the sex trade, hooking up with older men on “sugar daddy” websites.
“She asked me, ‘Would you be interested in writing about something like this?’” Anderson relayed to a room full of journalists who had assembled for a session at the Education Writers Association’s annual spring conference.
Free speech has once again become a highly charged issue on college campuses, where protests frequently have interrupted, and in some cases halted, appearances by polarizing speakers.
At a lively panel last week during the Education Writers Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., free speech advocates and a student leader from the University of California, Berkeley, debated who was at fault and what could be done.
One nonprofit organization is determined to see more conservatives on student election ballots at colleges and universities across the country. Turning Point USA is getting conservative students active in campus politics by providing them with everything from campaign T-shirts to on-the-ground workers to help sustain their runs for office.
As Coastal Carolina University continues an investigation into its cheerleading team’s alleged work as strippers and escorts, administrators there are grappling with how to treat websites such as the one the students used.
A letter sent to Coastal Carolina officials in mid-March from a concerned parent alleged that cheerleaders were engaging in stripping, drinking and prostitution. Following the claim, The Sun News obtained investigation documents through a public records request.
Jane Hammond of the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia, discusses the anniversary of the rampage, in which a student gunman killed 32 people before taking his own life. In the decade that’s followed, Virginia has put strict new protocols in place related to emergency response, as well as new standards for mental health services.
They could be considered the new minority student. Difficult to find, harder to enroll, but offering a perspective that moved to the forefront in the last presidential campaign. The small-town American who grows up to work a blue-collar job, who often feels ignored by a political climate that seems to cater more to the coastal middle class, has drawn more attention over the past year.
Dana Goldstein of The New York Times looks at issues of equity when it comes to PTA fundraising, and how those dollars are being distributed and spent.
Ashley Smith of Inside Higher Ed discusses why the Golden State is leading the nation in free community college initiatives. Currently, a quarter of all such programs nationally are located at California institutions. The growth is a mix of grassroots efforts by individual campuses, cities, and community organizations. At the same time, California’s Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a statewide effort to add even more free seats at two-year colleges.
Students, parents and taxpayers want to know now more than ever if college is worth it. The answer overall is an unequivocal yes, said Amy Laitinen, director of the higher education program at New America.
But, Laitinen added, Americans don’t know how worthwhile most individual colleges or programs are for particular students.
“The real question is which college, which program, for which students, at which price, for how much debt is it worth it,” Laitinen said.