Saturday, February 20, 2010

Higher Education: Staving off student debt

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

By EMILY DONOHUE, The Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS — When he was a high school student looking at colleges, Salem resident Matt Saari thought a school with a good reputation would lead to a successful career. He graduated from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history and about $60,000 in debt. The student loan bills have all come due, but the good career he planned for has been more elusive.

Saari works at the Ace Hardware distribution center in Wilton and spends about $400 a month, plus an additional $300 quarterly, to repay the student loans he took out to finance his education. His job at Ace Hardware does not require a degree.

“The money’s OK, but it’s certainly not what I had imagined,” he said. “I guess in my darkest moments, I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off just enlisting (in the military), maybe getting a practical skill set.”

He contacted all of his loan lenders to try to reduce his monthly payments, but only one lender agreed.

A $500 monthly payment on one loan was reduced to just under $300. The other lenders wouldn’t budge, though. “I’ve tried to discuss other options,” he said. “They’ve claimed that the options aren’t there.”

Saari said he doesn’t regret going to St. Anselm College, but he didn’t imagine that he’d be struggling to make ends meet after he graduated. He lives with his parents to save money now.

“I cherish having gone to college,” he said. “The economy kind of bailed on me.”

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Put a Sales Tax on Advertising
it would get the States $30 Billion
a year,
and the ONLY cost would be

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A.F.L.-C.I.O. Creates Online College for Union Families

Published: January 14, 2010

The A.F.L.-C.I.O., the main umbrella group for the nation’s labor unions, announced on Thursday that it was joining with the National Labor College and the Princeton Review to create an online college for the federation’s 11.5 million members and their families.

The new college, tentatively named the College for Working Families, will seek to “expand job opportunities for its members by providing education and retraining in a way that’s affordable and accessible,” the founders said.

The college will be the first and only accredited degree-granting online institution devoted exclusively to educating union members. It plans to begin offering courses this fall, including ones on criminal justice, education, business and allied health sciences.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Playing to Learn: Susan Engel

Excerpt from oped piece in New York Times, Tuesday, February 2

So what should children be able to do by age 12, or the time they leave elementary school? They should be able to read a chapter book, write a story and a compelling essay; know how to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers; detect patterns in complex phenomena; use evidence to support an opinion; be part of a group of people who are not their family; and engage in an exchange of ideas in conversation. If all elementary school students mastered these abilities, they would be prepared to learn almost anything in high school and college.

Imagine, for instance, a third-grade classroom that was free of the laundry list of goals currently harnessing our teachers and students, and that was devoted instead to just a few narrowly defined and deeply focused goals.

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Susan Engel is senior lecturer in psychology and the director of the teaching program at Williams College.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

They should be EMPHASIZING THE 3 Rs.