The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is working to create greater awareness among borrowers about student debt, has launched an early version of a financial aid comparison tool that lets students compare the cost of a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree at up to three institutions. The results are based on average grants per student and assume the student will borrow the remainder of the sticker price, leading to high total debt loads and monthly payments. They also include an option for veterans looking to attend college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A man from New York State was arrested Wednesday and charged with making e-mail threats to current and retired University of Pittsburgh professors, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The arrest comes as students and employees at Pitt are dealing with more than two dozen recent bomb threats at buildings there. According to a police report, the man who was arrested said that he has met the person behind the threats.
The State University of New York at Binghamton on Wednesday ordered a halt to all pledging activities of fraternities and sororities, The Press & Sun-Bulletin reported. The university said it was acting because of "an alarmingly high number of serious hazing complaints." Officials did not offer details on these complaints.
Nine people in China are on trial for selling fake degrees to universities in the United States, China Daily reported. The charges state that those on trail sold more than 30 people fake degrees, for a total of 3.4 million yuan ($540,000). The alleged victims include senior executives of some businesses.
As expected, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday that Baylor University, newly crowned Division I women’s basketball champion, has been cited for violating recruiting rules. News leaked Monday that the men’s and women’s basketball programs sent about 750 impermissible recruiting text messages and made more than 500 impermissible phone calls to students they were courting. But the men’s coaches were also found to have lied during the investigation and impermissibly used talent scouts at basketball clinics, and the women’s program employed prospects at university camps and made impermissible inducements and contacts with two recruits.
The violations occurred over a four-year span, the NCAA said, and their frequency and longevity led the association to slap Baylor and its men’s basketball coach with serious “failure to monitor” charges. The coach, Scott Drew, has been suspended for next year’s first two conference games and is under telephone call recruiting restrictions, while the women’s coach, Kim Mulkey, may not participate in off-campus recruiting this summer. Assistant coaches face additional penalties. Under sanctions self-imposed by Baylor, men’s basketball will get one fewer scholarship next year and the women’s team will get two fewer. The NCAA placed Baylor on three years’ probation. See the full public infractions report here.
Chalk up another victory for the Iowa Electronic Markets. The University of Iowa tool, which Inside Higher Ed profiled last fall ahead of the Iowa caucuses, allows people to invest small amounts of cash in support of candidates for political offices or positions on various other matters, and the markets have a good track record of predicting outcomes. The market for the Republican presidential race had lots of variation last summer, but since September 2011, the investors' choice has been Mitt Romney, who on Tuesday became the presumptive nominee when Rick Santorum suspended his campaign.
The University of California at Los Angeles told 894 waitlisted students they had been admitted last weekend, only to backtrack hours later, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The college sent an e-mail about financial aid to accepted and waitlisted students. But one line that was only supposed to be on the message to accepted students also appeared in the form letter to those on the waitlist: "Once again congratulations on your admission to UCLA, we hope that this information will assist you in making your decision to join the Bruin Family in the fall," the message read. UCLA officials informed those students Monday that they were still on the waitlist, and offered an apology.
This has happened before. Vassar College mistakenly told some early decision applicants this winter that they had gotten in, only to write back telling them they were actually rejected. And, The Times reported, the University of California campuses in San Diego and Santa Barbara have accidentally told students they were accepted in past years.
Nine students at Boston University are likely to face criminal charges and possible suspension after a bizarre discovery by police early Monday morning, The Boston Globe reported. After receiving a complaint about noise in a fraternity house, authorities found five BU students in the basement. They were tied up and duct-taped to each other, and were wearing only underwear. Police said that the students had welts on their backs and had been covered in honey and hot sauce. Students in the house belong to Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, which is not affiliated with BU. The national fraternity has suspended the BU chapter.
Excelencia in Education on Tuesday released data showing Latino college completion rates, by state. "The state-level data on Latino college completion show that today’s investment, or lack thereof, in Latino academic preparation and degree attainment can have a compounding effect on state populations, economies, and communities in the near future,” said Deborah Santiago, the organization's co-founder and vice president for policy and research.