In the U.S.,students are enrolling in college in record numbers, but they’re also dropping out in droves.
Barely half of those who start four-year colleges, and only a third of community college students, graduate. Today’s New York Times reports that “it’s one of the worst records among developed nations, and it’s a substantial drain on the economy. The American Institutes for Research estimates the cost of those dropouts, measured in lost earnings and taxes, at $4.5 billion. Incalculable are the lost opportunities for social mobility and the stillborn professional careers.
“There’s a remedy at hand, though, and it’s pretty straightforward. Nationwide, universities need to give undergraduates the care and attention akin to what’s lavished on students at elite institutions. If that help is forthcoming, graduation rates more than double, according to several evaluations of an innovative program at the City University of New York’s community colleges. Over the past month, CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) has garnered hosannas in the media for its package of comprehensive financial resources, student support systems and impressive graduation rates. The social policy leader MDRC is conducting a multiyear random-assignment study of ASAP and, in a just-released report, describes it as “unparalleled in large-scale experimental evaluations of programs in higher education to date.” Continue reading “To graduate, or not to graduate”
With marriage rates at all time lows, you would think its fans might be looking for new recruits.
But obviously the opposite is happening. As of this year, the largest family demographic in the United States is … the single person living alone.
Meanwhile, here is the latest news, as reported by Huffington Post: “It’s no secret that marriage rates have been on the decline for decades — in 2011, just 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. And new research predicts that marriage rates will remain at a historic low in the years ahead.
“Private research company Demographic Intelligence studied the state of marriage in the U.S. and, in an analysis released Monday, predicted that the marriage rate will remain at 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people in 2013, where it’s been since 2009 (compared to 7.3 in 2007).
“Researchers projected that there would be 2.189 million weddings in 2014 and, depending on the economic recovery, 2.208 million in 2015 (up from 2.168 million this year). Demographic Intelligence spokesperson Steve Morales explained to HuffPost Weddings in an email that although more weddings will take place, the overall rate of marriage will remain the same because the “echo boom” generation (grandchildren of baby boomers) is so large. Continue reading “Marriage needs recruits”
The graduation rates of UC students came under more scrutiny Wednesday as Gov. Jerry Brown urged administrators and faculty to prod more undergraduates to earn a degree in four years, not six, reports today’s Los Angeles Times
“Brown recently proposed giving UC and Cal State more funds if they increase their graduation rates by 10% by 2017. UC leaders have said that is an admirable but unreasonable goal and that such issues as students’ outside employment and their desire to take double majors slow them down.
“The rates have improved in recent years, partly due to higher tuition pressuring students to finish on time, officials said at a UC regents meeting in Sacramento. About 60% of UC students who enter as freshmen now graduate in four years and about 83% in six years, according to a report from UC system Provost Aimee Dorr. Those are significantly better numbers than other public research universities but worse than top private campuses, she said.
“Brown, who attended part of the regents’ meeting, expressed exasperation with Dorr’s many statistics, what he implied was her lack of solid solutions and her lecture-like presentation. “This was a good first semester,” Brown said, with a touch of anti-academic humor. “But I want to get to the second semester” for answers.
“He urged UC to stop citing the six-year rate, which is widely used by the federal government and other schools. “For me the four year is the norm,” he said. And he asked UC to examine why various UC campuses have better rates than others and why a number show improvements in some years and not in others. He said he wanted to know if that might be caused by factors within UC or “in the outside world.”
More at: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-uc-regents-20130516,0,33245.story
There is more student loan debt outstanding — $1 Trillion — than credit card debt! And the government is making a huge profit on it — an estimated 36 percent profit margin, reports the Huffington Post
“Here’s the real shame: The government gets to borrow for 10 years paying less than 2 percent interest on U.S. Treasury notes, while students must pay 6.8 percent interest on the loans they get from the government!
“The government is ripping off college students, leaving them with a burden of debt that averages $27,000, and for many exceeds $100,000, while they are forced to pay above-market interest rates.
“Students will spend so much time and pay so much interest getting out of student loan debt that most will never be able to afford to buy a home. Today’s homebuyers can get a 3.5 percent, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. But today’s students may never get to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates, because the government demands twice that rate to pay off their student loan debt. Continue reading “Let’s actually talk about student loans”
Over the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has cost more than $1 trillion and accounted
for over 45 million arrests.
The U.S. holds 25% of the world’s prisoners, yet accounts for
only 5% of the world’s population.
Black individuals comprise 13% of the U.S. population and 14% of drug users, yet they are 37%
of the people arrested for drug offenses and 56% of those incarcerated for drug crimes.
As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at
home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage upon
future generations of Americans. In forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for
more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor
communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more
available today than ever before. Continue reading “The House I live In – The “War on Drugs””
Following the news last week that American unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent came another, more sobering, statistic.
The unemployment rate among Americans with disabilities increased significantly in January, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday, reports DisabilityScoop.
“Statistics indicate that the jobless rate jumped to 13.7 percent last month for people with disabilities, a steep rise over the 11.7 percent unemployment rate reported for the final month of 2012.
“Multiple factors appear to have contributed to the growth in
individuals with disabilities without jobs in January. Not only were there more without jobs, but the number of people seeking work also grew, according to Labor Department data. Continue reading “Rising unemployment among the disabled”