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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 3:00am

The Foundation for Educational Success today released voluntary standards of conduct that would apply to for-profit colleges that sign on to the statement. The foundation, which is affiliated with the Coalition for Educational Success, a membership group representing for-profit institutions that collectively enroll more than 350,000 students, said that experts from higher education, business and government had developed the standards. Signatories will have one year to implement the requirements, which those behind it say "will provide strong new student protections; guidelines for training, enrollment and financial aid; and include an enforcement mechanism to ensure that participating schools adhere to the principles of the new standards."

The standards, which have been developed over a period of months, appear to be an attempt at self-regulation, with what sponsors call "rigorous third-party" enforcement. They cover several controversial areas for the industry, with recommendations that prohibit incentive compensation for admissions and financial aid employees, and that require disclosure to students of information about transferability of credit, entrance and exit loan counseling, and a trial period of 21 days during which students can withdraw without incurring tuition-related expenses. The major question that surrounds the standards -- one of several efforts by for-profit colleges to hold themselves accountable amid heavy government scrutiny -- is whether institutions will choose to participate.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 3:00am

The nation’s best college football and basketball players are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to their programs and yet live below the poverty line at 85 percent of the institutions where they receive full athletic scholarships, a new report asserts. The report, which was first obtained Monday by the Associated Press, argues that colleges should award students at least some of that revenue, which amounts to $121,000 annually for the average Football Bowl Subdivision player and $265,000 for a basketball player at the same level.

The National College Players Association and a Drexel University professor calculated the players’ value by applying the same revenue-sharing models used in professional sports to colleges. Athletic conferences have begun discussing ways to bridge the gap between the full cost of attendance and what students actually receive through sports scholarships – a gap that the report found ranges by college from $952 to $6,127 – but officials are resistant to the idea of paying athletes outright.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 3:00am

Governor Rick Perry of Texas, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, was attacked by opponents in a debate Monday night for signing into law a bill that gave in-state tuition rates to some students who lack documentation to reside legally in the United States. Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said, "Well, I mean, what Governor Perry's done is he provided in-state tuition for -- for illegal immigrants. Maybe that was an attempt to attract the illegal vote -- I mean, the Latino voters." And Rep. Michele Bachmann said, "I think that the American way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws or who are here in the United States illegally. That is not the American way," according to a CNN transcript.

Perry defended the legislation. "In the state of Texas, if you've been in the state of Texas for three years, if you're working towards your college degree, and if you are working and pursuing citizenship in the state of Texas, you pay in-state tuition there," he said. "And the bottom line is it doesn't make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the American way. No matter how you got into that state, from the standpoint of your parents brought you there or what have you. And that's what we've done in the state of Texas. And I'm proud that we are having those individuals be contributing members of our society rather than telling them, you go be on the government dole." (The audience booed him.)

Bachmann also said that the legislation Perry signed was equivalent to federal legislation backed by President Obama (but blocked in Congress by Republicans) that would create a path to citizenship for such students. (Both state and federal bills have been commonly called DREAM acts, but state laws cover tuition policy.) Perry stressed that he does not back the federal law. "I'm not for the DREAM Act that they are talking about in Washington D.C. that is amnesty. What we did in the state of Texas was clearly a states right issue."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 3:00am

A small majority of 265 business schools surveyed by Kaplan will now accept the Graduate Record Examination as a standardized test instead of the (still) dominant test, the Graduate Management Admissions Test. The Educational Testing Service has been encouraging business schools to accept the GRE, and the survey suggests success in that effort. However, a spokesman for the Graduate Management Admission Council, which runs the GMAT, noted that just because business schools are offering the GRE option doesn't mean applicants are abandoning the GMAT. The spokesman said that GMAT registrations in the first seven months of 2011 are 174,933, compared to 164,922 in the comparable period of 2010.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 3:00am

Alumni of Cornell University's Africana Studies and Research Center on Monday issued a harshly worded statement denouncing the university's recent decisions about the center as "regressive and colonial in nature." Cornell recently brought the center -- which had been freestanding -- under the College of Arts and Science. While that move was opposed by some at the center as intruding on its autonomy, Cornell officials argued it would allow for better support of the center, and was reflective of the way other interdisciplinary programs were housed at the university. Further, the university announced plans to add new faculty lines and to create a Ph.D. program. In August, the university announced that efforts had failed "to identify a faculty member who was both willing to serve and acceptable to a substantial majority of the Africana faculty...." So the university appointed two administrators from outside the center to jointly lead the program. The Africana alumni group said this amounted to holding "the Africana Center hostage under an externally appointed administrative regime." A Cornell spokesman said that the university was preparing a response to the alumni.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:00am

Colleges in parts of Pennsylvania and New York that saw flooding are starting to resume normal operations, while also cleaning up and helping local efforts to repair damage. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is closed until Thursday, although the campus is providing some food service for those who are still there. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. ordered evacuations of the city, and has now lifted that order, permitting the resumption of classes planned for today at King's College. At Wilkes University, classes will resume tomorrow, and officials are reporting minimal damage to the campus. Bucknell and Susquehanna Universities are reporting on student efforts to help the surrounding areas. Further north, the State University of New York at Binghamton (in a city that was hard hit by the flooding) announced that it will resume classes today, although courses scheduled for a downtown campus have been relocated.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:00am

A new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has documented a shift in Baltimore's high school graduates attending college: In the last four years, the percentage starting at two-year colleges, as opposed to four-year colleges, rose by 12 percentage points, to 52 percent. The Baltimore Sun reported that officials are concerned about the trend because only 5.8 percent of those who start at a two-year college earn a degree in six years -- compared with 34 percent who start at four-year-colleges.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Nebraska Press plans to buy and distribute nearly 250 titles from the Jewish Publication Society, a publisher of Jewish scholarly and reference works, The Lincoln Journal Star reported. The Jewish Publication Society will continue to identify and publish new works, but Nebraska will distribute them. Officials with the society said that they wanted a university press affiliation and selected Nebraska because of its strong commitment to Jewish studies. The Nebraska press owns about 50 Jewish studies titles and publishes about a four a year.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Wisconsin at Madison is upping the cost for students of receiving an alcohol-related citation. Not only will students have to pay the ticket, but they will have to attend (and pay for themselves) alcohol education classes, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Students will have a choice of $78 for two group sessions or $200 for two one-on-one sessions with a counselor.

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 3:00am

Following controversies in several states over demands by conservative groups for the e-mail and other communications of selected faculty members at public universities, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy has released an analysis of how state universities and states might respond. The analysis -- by Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel of the American Association of University Professors -- offers several options. One is to amend state Freedom of Information Act laws to exempt public college faculty members. But short of that, she notes the possibility of calling for tests that balance legitimate public demands for information with professors' need to discuss ideas frankly but privately.

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