Higher Ed Press Clips October 2012

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October 1, 2012

Denver Post:
State’s community college hit motherlode in federal grant money –
Geri Anderson was at a luncheon with educators from all over the country when she heard that an Ohio group had received $12 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.  Anderson, the vice president and provost for the Colorado Community College System, had done much of the writing for a coalition of western schools applying for a slice of $2 billion to be distributed over four years through 2014.  "When we heard (about Ohio), and we hadn't gotten any word, it was really sad," Anderson said. "I was so depressed that I ate three desserts."  As it turned out, because of media leaks in announcing the 2011 recipients, the Department of Labor had changed the notification procedure and was now calling state representatives individually, starting with the eastern part of the country and moving west.  About 20 minutes after the Ohio news, Anderson's phone rang, notifying her that the western entry had been awarded $14.2 million.

(Columnist: Frei) CSU’s football stadium will get go-ahead –
My occasional misgivings about college football involve contradictory messages and expectations. We say we want coaches and programs to "do it right," then only occasionally acknowledge that cutting corners — often with the help of the registrar's office — sure helps. We lionize coaches known to be renegades running shaky programs if they're winning, and belittle and skewer coaches with high ideals if they're not winning, or not winning enough.  Colorado State president Tony Frank on Monday will announce his conditional recommendation to move forward with an on-campus stadium project. It is part of his strategy to use sports to help raise the school's national profile and attract more nonresident students paying out-of-state tuition, helping offset the drying-up of state support for higher education.

(Editorial) Is a new football stadium at CSU worth the gamble?
Is a proposed $246 million on-campus football stadium at Colorado State University a visionary move that will position the school and its athletic department for success in years to come? Or is it a boondoggle that will cost the university — and possibly students and taxpayers — millions of dollars annually and bring unwanted headaches to downtown Fort Collins? Consultants hired by the university predict that revenue for the new stadium could be between $7.6 million and $13 million annually.  If the stadium is to be built without money from taxpayers or students, as CSU officials have pledged, the money would likely be necessary to pay off construction debt.

Sterling Journal Advocate:
Drop in enrollment affecting budget –
As of Wednesday, a weekly report released by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) shows Northeastern Junior College's enrollment is down 11.5 percent, or 81 full time equivalent students, compared to last year at this time.  "It's going to have an impact on us and it's going to have an impact on our budget," NJC President Jay Lee told the college's Advisory Council on Thursday.  Due to the decrease in students NJC is looking at anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000 in lost revenue this year. Lee said it would probably be closer to $800,000.  As the college built the budget for this year they did anticipate enrollment being down some -- about 4 percent.   "We have to do everything we can to try to find more students in the spring," Lee said.  However, he also pointed out that spring is always more difficult because they tend to lose students from fall to spring.

The Coloradoan:
CSU posts highest total fall, freshman enrollment in 2012 –
Colorado State University has bested four previous record-setting years to post the highest fall enrollment since its founding more than 140 years ago.  About 26,769 students enrolled at CSU this semester, 4,544 of whom represent the university’s largest-ever freshman class. And while the university intends to add graduate-level students over time, campus leaders believe increasing numbers of in- and out-of-state undergraduate students will be key to growing total enrollment by about 30 percent in coming years.

Boulder Daily Camera:
CU-Boulder law student defends right to carry gun on campus –
Katherine Whitney is a polished second-year law student at the University of Colorado, with internship experience at the state Court of Appeals.  A Boulder resident, she's a vegetarian and climber, and she holds an elected position as financial officer in the law school student government.  Whitney, 26, is also a concealed-weapon permit holder. It's a label that she would like to help demystify.

Ed Week:
(Blog) Students Struggle to Repay Loans –
New figures out on students' loan-default rates show many borrowers continue to struggle to meet their payment obligations.  Within three years of their loans becoming due, 13.4 percent of students were unable to make payments in the fiscal 2009 cohort, compared with 13.8 percent defaulting in the 2008 cohort, according to the latest Cohort Default Rate report released by the U.S. Department of Education Friday.  For-profit institutions led with the highest average three-year default rate of 22.7 percent; students from public institutions defaulted at a rate of 11 percent and those at private nonprofit institutions at 7.5 percent.
The national two-year default rate rose to 9.1 percent for the fiscal 2010 cohort, up from the 8.8 percent in fiscal 2009.

Insider Higher Ed:
Too High a Price? Grinnell, one of the country’s wealthiest colleges, questions sustainability of financial aid –
Grinnell College, which this year reported the fifth-largest endowment of any liberal arts college, announced Thursday that it would spend the next few months engaged in a conversation with campus stakeholders about changing its financial aid policies – including potentially, but probably not, going as far as making changes to need-blind admission. That makes it the second high-profile liberal arts college, following Wesleyan University this summer, to broach the topic in recent months.  Grinnell's announcement stands out for two major reasons. Grinnell is one of the wealthiest liberal arts colleges in the country, so the idea that it would view its current financial aid model as unsustainable could be a bellwether that the sector as a whole is reconsidering the model. Second, the college's administrators are taking an unusually public approach to a discussion that arouses strong emotions, trying to educate all campus constituents on why they think change might be necessary and hoping that, in doing so, they can mollify potential critics.

Two-year default rates for student loans increase again –
WASHINGTON — Just over 9 percent of students default on their federal student loans in the first two years after they begin paying them back, and 13.4 percent default in the first three years, according to data released Friday by the Education Department.  This is the first year the federal government has released the official default rate over three years, rather than two, which will later be used to determine colleges’ eligibility for federal financial aid. The two-year "cohort" default rate, which measures borrowers who entered repayment between October 2009 and September 2010, and defaulted on their loans by the end of September 2011 (during the 2010 fiscal year), continued a steady upward climb that began in 2005 and worsened with the recession. But the three-year rate, which this year measures borrowers who entered repayment between October 2008 and September 2009, and defaulted by the end of September 2011, dropped slightly. The two-year default rate for fiscal year 2009, released last year, was 8.8 percent.

October 2, 2012

Denver Post:
New Colorado State stadium gets conditional OK, but some not happy –
Saying a new stadium would be in keeping with his vision of what Colorado State University might look like 50 years from now, CSU president Tony Frank on Monday announced he will support the construction of a new on-campus structure.  "I think a well-maintained stadium located on the main campus, now with decades of tradition behind it, would be a great benefit to the university, providing a familiar venue for athletics, graduations, freshman convocations, band days, and other large events," Frank said in a statement.  The decision brought a mixed reaction from the community — some students and business operators were excited about the new venture, but other people had serious concerns.

New Colorado State stadium gets OK; needs $125 million in fundraising –
Saying a new stadium would be in keeping with his vision of what Colorado State University might look like 50 years from now, CSU president Tony Frank on Monday announced he will support the construction of a new on-campus structure.  "I think a well-maintained stadium located on the main campus, now with decades of tradition behind it, would be a great benefit to the university, providing a familiar venue for athletics, graduations, freshman convocations, band days, and other large events," Frank said in a statement.

Daniel Ritchie: The man who laid the foundation for DU’s big movement –
Not too many years ago, and certainly within living memory of many of its graduates, the University of Denver was known as a school with a first-class hockey team and some distinguished alumni but not much else.  On Wednesday, DU places another feather in what is now a festooned hat: It hosts Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the first 2012 presidential debate in the campus' Magness Arena, part of the gleaming Ritchie Center complex. Daniel Ritchie, the center's namesake, will have to feel a surge of pride.  "It's nice to see, but really, the feeling of accomplishment is about 'we,' not 'me,' " said Ritchie, who served as DU's chancellor from 1989 to 2005, leaving a legacy that transformed the school.

Boulder Daily Camera:
CU-Boulder exploring creating minor in leadership –
A pair of University of Colorado students -- professionally dressed as though they were ready to give briefings at the White House rather than attend an afternoon class on campus -- guided their peers through a lesson on national security Monday.   In this "Global Issues of Leadership" course, a cadre of high-performing students have nameplates in front of where they sit, they take turns leading a class session and they are expected to dress professionally when officials from agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a drug task force come and talk to them. They're course readings include articles from The Economist and The Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal:
Can U.S. Universities Stay on Top? –
At the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi—one of the best engineering academies in the country—we met Shriram, a 21-year-old man who ranked 19 out of 485,000 on the school's very demanding entrance exam. We call him Mr. Number 19.  Shriram can tell you the date and time when he found out his test results. The exam—and the preparation for it—dominated his teenage years. He was singled out as a "big talent" at an early age, with an aptitude for mathematics and science. To get ready for the IIT entrance exam, he enrolled at a private coaching institute that prepares students with aggressive drilling in the major testing areas—physics, chemistry and math. Over those two years, Shriram estimates that he studied 90 hours every week.

October 3-10, 2012

Ed News:
Saddling parents with college loans –
More than a decade after Aurora Almendral first set foot on her dream college campus, she and her mother still shoulder the cost of that choice.
Almendral had been accepted to New York University in 1998, but even after adding up scholarships, grants and the max she could take out in federal student loans, the private university — among the nation’s costliest — still seemed out of reach.  One program filled the gap: Aurora’s mother, Gemma Nemenzo, was eligible for a different federal loan meant to help parents finance their children’s college costs.

Ed Week:
(Blog) Univ. of Texas to Test Incentive for On-Time Graduation –
Two hundred incoming freshmen at the University of Texas at Austin next fall will have an added incentive to finish their degrees in four years.
A portion of their student loans will be forgiven if they keep up with a full-time load.  The pilot program is designed to encourage on-time completion and was inspired by Texas' B-on-Time Loan program, which offers interest-free loans to undergraduates who are Texas residents, according to a press release from the university. With the state program, loans are forgiven for those who graduate with grade point averages of B or better within four years of starting college.

Inside Higher Ed:
Higher Ed in the next Congress –
Higher education has played a surprisingly prominent (if hardly substantive) role in the race for the White House so far: plenty of mentions, but few new policy proposals.  But there are other elections happening Nov. 6, and so far in Congressional races, the issues most pertinent to colleges and universities have stayed out of the spotlight. While plenty hangs on the occupant of the Oval Office, the outcome of those elections will also have a significant impact on higher education policy for the next few years.  The next Congress will confront huge budgetary challenges that could reshape federal financial aid programs. It will grapple with a projected shortfall in the Pell Grant. And members will probably at least begin considering a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the massive law that governs federal student aid, although few in Washington expect a full reauthorization in the next two years.

Higher Ed Shrinks – Enrollments fall for first time in 15 years –
It's official: Higher education is shrinking, for the first time in at least 15 years.  Total enrollment at American colleges and universities eligible for federal financial aid fell slightly in the fall of 2011 from the year before, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics.  The data from the department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System show that 21,554,004 students were enrolled in fall 2011, down from 21,588,124 in fall 2010. While that drop is smaller than two-tenths of one percent, it is the first such dip since at least 1996, according to officials at NCES.

NY Times:
Supreme Court to Hear Case on Affirmative Action –
WASHINGTON — Abigail Fisher is a slight young woman with strawberry blond hair, a smile that needs little prompting, a determined manner and a good academic record. She played soccer in high school, and she is an accomplished cellist. But the university she had her heart set on, the one her father and sister had attended, rejected her. “I was devastated,” she said, in her first news interview since she was turned down by the University of Texas at Austin four years ago.

October 11-12, 2012

Pueblo Chieftain:
Community college leaders tours lab –
Pueblo Community College's new simulation lab at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center was lauded by representatives of the state community college system for providing one of the best hands-on learning environments in the state.  "I'm really impressed not only with the hands-on learning this lab provides but also with the partnership that has allowed this to happen," said Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System.

Durango Herald:
Trustees renew college chief’s 3-year contract –
The Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees have renewed President Dene Kay Thomas’ contract for three years.   “It feels wonderful,” said Thomas in a phone interview Thursday. “What can I tell you? This is the best job in the world.”  The board’s vote to renew Thomas’s contract was unanimous, after a months-long review of her job performance.

College to offer graduate degree –
he idea of Fort Lewis College, Colorado’s only public liberal arts college, instituting a master’s degree program had been bandied about for more than a decade.  Now, after years of planning, discussions and focus groups, the dream is coming true, with the college Board of Trustees unanimously voting to offer a master’s of arts in education starting in 2013.  “I’m very excited about it. FLC offering a master’s degree in education will serve the whole region,” said FLC President Dene Kay Thomas.

Alamosa Valley Courier:
TSJC to expand vo-ag program –
ALAMOSA — Jack Wiley doesn’t understand how an agriculture-based economy doesn’t have a local agriculture science degree program. On Tuesday, Wiley, the new Trinidad State Junior College vocational agriculture teacher, spoke with Valley superintendents at their monthly meeting about increasing agriculture science programs and the opportunities for high school students to participate in concurrent enrollment classes.

Ed Week:
(Blog) College Persistence Linked to Rigorous Courses and Academic Advising –
New research suggests that if schools can figure out how to keep college freshman on track, the nation could be well on its path to meeting President Obama's 2020 goal of leading the world in producing college graduates.  A study released Thursday finds the answer is linked to higher levels of math in high school, more Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, and good college advising. And those factors hold regardless of student's socioeconomic status.  The research by Kasey Klepfer and Jim Hull at the Center for Public Education at the National School Boards Association focused on freshman-to-sophomore persistence rates, since college students are more likely to drop out their first year than any other. And with graduation rates hovering around 58 percent at four-year colleges and 33 percent at community colleges, educators are eager to learn how to get more students to the finish line.

Philanthropy News Digest:
Five Funders Awarded $6.4 Million to Help Transfer Students Complete Associate Degrees –
USA Funds and the Bill & Melinda Gates, Helios Education, Kresge, and Lumina foundations have announced grants totaling $6.4 million in support of a multi-state initiative to help students who transfer from community colleges complete their associate degrees.
Launched last April, the initiative, Credit When It's Due: Recognizing the Value of Quality Associate Degrees, is designed to encourage partnerships among community colleges and universities and expand programs that award associate degrees to transfer students when they complete the requirements for the degree while pursuing a bachelor's degree — an approach known as "reverse transfer." Grants were awarded to universities, college associations, and departments of education in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon.

The Washington Post:
The ‘right’ college major can mean big bucks, according to Census data
College students who earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering earn about $1.6 million more than education majors over the course of their career, according to new data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.  There’s nothing revelatory in the notion that engineers generally make more than teachers, or that business majors earn more than performing artists, but here’s some data from two newly released reports taken from the results of the 2011 American Community Survey.

October 13-16, 2012

Denver Post:
Wyoming hopes Colorado high schoolers say, “It’s better up here.” –
As part of his search for a college, Joey DeLeon spent part of last weekend in Fort Collins, touring Colorado State University. Before the end of the month, the senior at Skyline High School in Longmont will make a similar visit to the University of Colorado at Boulder.  However, while he believes both institutions have plenty to offer, DeLeon admitted that he finds himself intrigued by the third school on his wish list: the University of Wyoming.  "I used to think of Wyoming as the armpit of the Earth. I lived there when I was little, and I went to a day-care center that cost $2 an hour and the kids there used to beat me up every day," DeLeon said. "I'm not sure what happened, but when I visited there it really blew my mind — it was really surprising how cool it was."  DeLeon's words — well, most of them, anyway — are music to the ears of school officials in Laramie, who are beginning to reap the benefits of a concerted effort to lure students from here to there. The university, which has a full-time recruiter based in Denver, saw 383 freshmen from Colorado enroll this fall.

Boulder Daily Camera:
CU-Boulder to host second campus forum on concealed carry –
Top University of Colorado leaders will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon to hear concerns from faculty, staff and students in light of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that struck down the school's gun ban. The event will be from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Aspen Rooms in the University Memorial Center on the Boulder campus. School officials say that while the university has attempted to provide guidance on how the campus is complying with the Concealed Carry Act, there continue to be questions from some faculty and staff members.

Regent at-large candidates have diverse viewpoints on concealed carry –
Guns on campus has loomed as one of the most partisan debates among the University of Colorado's Board of Regents in recent years and candidates for the at-large seat that is up for election this November have competing views on the issue.  The Supreme Court issued a ruling last spring that struck down CU's long-standing gun ban, and now those with concealed-carry permits are free to bring their weapons mostly anywhere on campus -- barring the dorms and ticketed events, such as football games or concerts. But, state Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, has said she plans to introduce legislation that would return power to universities to set their own weapons policies, potentially punting the issue to the Republican-controlled Board of Regents.

October 17-22, 2012

Boulder Daily Camera:
CU-Boulder tries to bridge cultural gaps for growing number of international students –
With foreign student enrollment steadily growing at the University of Colorado, officials are busy bridging cultural gaps on campus and in classrooms -- with efforts including everything from "football 101" workshops to a CU psychologist who keeps regular hours in the international affairs office.  Enrollment of international students at the Boulder campus has grown 30 percent over the past five years, said Larry Bell, director of international education. This fall, there are 1,643 degree-seeking students with student visas, an all-time high for the Boulder campus, Bell said. Of those students, 556 are new this fall.

Inside Higher Ed:
Performing under pressure: Better measures of college performance –
State lawmakers increasingly want to tie public funding of higher education to colleges' performance. But measuring sticks that reflect the differences between institutions and who they serve are hard to find.  HCM Strategists and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are trying to fill that gap with a series of new research papers and issue briefs. The campaign, dubbed “Context for Success,” attempts to give policymakers and colleges tools to better judge what works in higher education.  For example, graduation rates are a common way of sizing up colleges. But missing in this and other popular “accountability” measures is detailed information about incoming students – such as their academic preparation and risk factors. “Based on raw numbers, a college with a graduation rate of 80 percent might seem much better than one with 50 percent, and one whose graduates earn $40,000 a year better than one whose graduates earn $25,000,” according to the new report. “But the comparison will not be ‘apples to apples’ if the college with better results started with better-prepared entering students. Unfiltered comparisons are misleading and can lead to bad policy decisions, misguided student choices and counterproductive incentives.”

Wall Street Journal:
Texas Pushes $10,000 Degree –
For sale: a college education for $10,000 or less. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is renewing his call for such lower-cost undergraduate degrees, in what he hopes will be the state's signature response to the national problem of rising college tuition and student debt. "A $10,000 degree provides an opportunity for students to earn a low-cost, high-quality degree that will get them where they want to go in their careers and their lives," the Republican governor said in a statement last week. The governor has repeatedly urged schools to find ways to teach students more efficiently.

October 23, 2012

Denver Post:
Politics or nonpartisanship on the ballot in CU Regent races –
With four seats on the University of Colorado's nine-member Board of Regents in play in next month's election, there's certainly the potential for a major shake-up along party lines. But while there are issues, such as guns on campus, that potentially carry political ramifications, returning members say nonpartisan cooperation is what's needed to address the major concerns facing the CU system.

Inside Higher Ed:
An Underused Lifeline: Despite student debt concern, income-based repayment lags –
When her first student loan payments came due last year, Suzanne Sublette might have seemed an ideal candidate for a federal program to base her monthly bill on her income. On her way to a master's degree and a Ph.D., Sublette, a sociology lecturer at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wis., had borrowed more than $115,000.  Now, months after she first tried to sign up for the repayment plan, Sublette is still jumping through bureaucratic hoops. If she succeeds, the government will lower her monthly bill by about $150. Because her job is considered "public service," her federal loans will be forgiven after 10 years. Sublette loves the idea of the program, she said, but she wonders: if someone with a master’s in social work and a Ph.D in educational policy can’t navigate the system, who can?

Ed Week:
(Blog) Research Finds ‘College 101’ Courses Need Improvement –
Most colleges now offer some introductory student success or "College 101" course designed to help ease the transition into higher education. New research shows students benefit from those efforts, but the impact is not long-lasting.  The study by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, includes interviews with 169 students, faculty, and staff, and observations of College 101 courses in 19 classrooms at three community colleges in Virginia. Researchers found students in the courses did improve their skills and knowledge of college resources. However, there wasn't enough time in class for students to apply and practice the new skills. (The classes evaluated in the study were one credit and met just once a week.) And the courses were separate from the academic departments on campus so the lessons were not reinforced in other classes.

Washington Post:
MARYLAND – At Montgomery College, undocumented students hope for “Dream” –
They came to the United States as children with little idea, if any, of what it meant to overstay a visa. They enrolled in public schools, learned English, earned high school diplomas. Like many of their classmates, they pondered college choices.  But as undocumented immigrants in Maryland, they then had to confront the reality that they must pay two to three times what former high school classmates pay to attend the state’s public colleges. It is a rule that, for many students of modest means, puts a college education out of reach.

October 24-25, 2012

Denver Business Journal:
(Blog) Web-based college aims to break down barriers –
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $3.1 million to fund a Web-based school of higher education that’s opening its first branch in Denver and is ready to accept applicants.  Its name is Portmont College at Mount St. Mary’s, a nonprofit joint venture of Los Angeles-based Mount St. Mary’s College and the MyCollege Foundation, which is a grantee of the Gates Foundation.  The two-year school will award associate’s degrees in business administration, computer science, liberal arts and pre-health science.

Inside Higher Ed:
What’s At Stake:  Overview of Obama, Romney and federal higher education policy –
WASHINGTON -- For a few days in early June, as President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney sparred over student debt and interest rates, it seemed that higher education might play a major role in the 2012 presidential race.  Since then, it has largely faded into the background, the subject of occasional T.V. and radio advertisements or debate one-liners. Still, when voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, issues important to colleges and their students -- some obvious, some less so -- will hang in the balance.  Either Obama or Romney will confront fiscal challenges that could profoundly affect financial aid and research, and have the opportunity to shape policy on a range of issues -- from labor relations and immigration to Title IX and for-profit colleges -- and reshape the higher education landscape. Since many expect Congress will remain divided, making it difficult to pass major legislation, much of that is likely to happen through regulatory changes.

(Essay) Income Data and the Degree: Let’s use available income data to judge value of college degree –
From health care to major league baseball, entire industries are being shaped by the evolving use of data to drive results. One sector that remains largely untouched by the effective use of data is higher education. Fortunately, a recent regulation from the Department of Education offers a potential new tool that could begin driving critical income data into conversations about higher education programs and policies.  Last year, the Department of Education put forward a regulation called gainful employment. It was designed to crack down on bad actors in investor-funded higher education (sometimes called for-profit higher education). It set standards for student loan repayment and debt-to-income ratios that institutions must meet in order for students attending a specific institution to remain eligible for federal funds.

Ed Week:
(Blog) Leveraging Aid Can Bring Down Price at Private Nonprofit Colleges –
Students are encouraged to look beyond the sticker price of private colleges. And for good reason. The College Board's new report lists the average cost of tuition, fees, and room and board at private nonprofit colleges for 2012-13 at $39,518.  A closer look at the aid provided by institutions and the government shows the actual net price of attending these schools has actually gone down slightly in the past five years in inflation-adjusted dollars.  Full-time undergraduates at private nonprofit four-year institutions receive about $15,680 on average when combining all sources of help, including tax credits. This brings the average net price of tuition and fees down to $13,380, plus about $10,000 for room and board, according to this year's Trends in College Pricing 2012.

Wall Street Journal:
For-Profit Colleges Get Schooled –
As consumers wise up about education spending, for-profit colleges are getting schooled.  Institutions such as Apollo Group Inc.'s University of Phoenix, DeVry Inc. and Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan—who only a few years ago reported double-digit student gains on a regular basis and posted hundreds of millions in profits—now are hemorrhaging students.  They are facing increased competition from nonprofit and state schools and growing skepticism about the value of a high-cost education. Just last week, industry bellwether Apollo said it would close nearly half of its brick-and-mortar locations to save on overhead.

NY Times:
(Opinion) Student Debt Debacles –
Students who finance their educations through private lenders often wrongly assume that private and federal loans work the same way. In fact, they do not.  Most federal student loans have rates of 6.8 percent (or less) and offer broad consumer protections that allow people who lose their jobs to make lower, affordable payments or to defer payment until they recover financially.  Private student loans — from banks and other private institutions — typically come with variable interest rates and fewer consumer protections, which means that borrowers who get into trouble have few options other than default. Many borrowers did not learn about the differences between private and federal loans until after they became deeply indebted. And because of confusion about variable rates, they are sometimes shocked to learn what they owe when that first bill arrives.

October 26-29, 2012

Denver Post:
More than just football:  CSU hopes new stadium lifts all boats –
The distance from Hughes Stadium to the Colorado State University campus is only about 4 miles, but to hear some school officials talk, it's an impassable gulf for alumni and one of the biggest detriments to the university taking its rightful place as a world-class institution.  But the university officials planning the drive to raise $250 million to build an on-campus stadium say they can parlay fundraising for a marquee sports program into donor dollars for academics and research, as other top football schools have done.

(Blog) CSU Engines Laboratory receives $1.2 million grant from U.S Department of Energy –
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Colorado State University’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory a $1.2 million grant to build a semi-gasifer cookstove; a more efficient biomass cookstove that could further reduce indoor air pollution, a leading cause of death for women and children under age 5.  Currently, CSU engineers use a one-step, rocket elbow stove that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 65 percent and fuel consumption by 50 percent. A semi-gasifer stove will allow for a two-step process to combust solid biomass, resulting in even lower emissions.

Inside Higher Ed:
The Football Dividend: Research finds financial impact on colleges that win football games –
One much-discussed claim about big-time college athletics is that successful programs attract a range of things that universities want: alumni donations, applications, prestige, students and so forth.  The scholarship is mixed on whether such payoffs occur, but a new study (abstract available here) finds that there are measurable benefits for athletic success by universities in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, in particular for athletics-related donations. The new study focuses on the impact of winning each game in the football season, and in particular on the role of winning unexpectedly (for which there appears to be greater payoffs).