Students inspired by (or tired of) the "ice bucket challenge" for ALS research have taken to Twitter with the #PayMyTuition challenge, in which they are challenging various celebrities to help finance their higher education. There are lots of requests to the usual suspects -- President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, etc. Also there have been some notable responses. At Austin Peay State University, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, responded by noting that ROTC does in fact pay tuition. (Of course ROTC requires a much more serious commitment than dumping a bucket of ice on one's head or tweeting.) Blackboard responded with a contest inviting students to explain how they will use their education to make the world a better place. First place is a $15,000 scholarship.
Plymouth State University, in New Hampshire, has ended a requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from the university said that it will continue to place the most emphasis on applicants' high school performance.
Mills College is adopting a new, more open approach on admissions for transgender students. To date, most women's colleges have rejected applicants who were born men and may still legally be men, but who identify as women. Mills will now accept them as well as applicants who do not identify as male or female, but who were designated as female at birth, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Mills also said it would not accept undergraduate applicants who were born female, but who legally have become male. Like many women's colleges, Mills will continue to educate students admitted under its policies but whose gender identity changes after enrollment.
A new survey of new students at two-year and four-year colleges -- of students who participate in Cappex.com, a service that helps colleges identify prospective students -- found notable demographic differences in what students said that they wanted in a college. Among the differences:
Female students with high SAT and ACT scores said that they focused on colleges with strong academic records.
Male students with lower SAT scores ranked “appealing campus traditions” and big-time athletics as key to their choices.
Minority students -- but not white students -- said that they gained key information from college fairs and emails from admissions offices.
Southern students, more than those elsewhere, cared about colleges having "appealing" traditions.
The survey was conducted by Lipman Hearne and Cappex.
The American Bar Association's governing council has approved changes in the ABA rules for accrediting law schools, The National Law Journal reported. The changes will require that law school have students gain experience in clinics or other real world settings, and will shift an emphasis from the qualifications of entering students to measures of learning and placement rates. The ABA and law schools have been criticized for not doing enough in the past about law schools that enroll students who may have little chance at employment in jobs sufficient to repay their loans.
Inside Higher Ed is today releasing a free compilation of articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about strategies for recruiting, retaining and graduating nontraditional students. The articles involve a wide range of institutions, the use of technology and different curricular approaches.
On Thursday, September 11 at 1 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman will conduct a free webinar to talk about the issues raised in the booklet's articles. To register for the webinar, please click here.
Beloit College announced Friday that it is ending (for domestic applicants) a requirement that students submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from the vice president for enrollment, Robert Mirabile, said: "Given the extremely competitive marketplace in which we recruit students, it is important for us to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of each part of our application. From this perspective, I am concerned that the standardized test requirement adds little unique value to our selection process. Indeed, the requirement can, in some cases, inhibit access to Beloit among capable students who would greatly contribute to and benefit from the college.”