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Entries in On Campus by Kirk Carapezza and Mallory Noe-Payne

New York University offers one of this country's most expensive four-year degrees, and it's only getting more expensive.

John Sexton has been president of NYU for over a decade. During that time, the university's real-estate footprint has grown by two million square feet and it's launched 11 international academic centers. Sexton has faced significant criticism for the direction he's taken the school, and for rising costs. Earlier this year he announced he'll step down in 2016.

Schools give two types of scholarships: need-based scholarships that go to the lowest-income students, and merit scholarships that go to the smartest students. A report from the New America Foundation finds schools are increasingly using their money on merit scholarships. Steven Burd authored the report, and he says this trend means more money is going to those who need it the least. 

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Three years ago, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa found that college students learn little while in school. Their book, Academically Adrift, shocked the academy and provoked angry responses. 

Now, the two provocateurs are back. Their sequel is called Aspiring Adults AdriftIt follows the same students after graduation and concludes that schools focus on social life rather than academics, and that levies a high tariff on young adults. WGBH's On Campus recently sat down with Arum, and asked him why he wanted to track these young adults as they attempt to enter the working world.

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School is almost back in session, and high school juniors and seniors are looking at colleges, trying to find the best fit. Families often turn to rankings, like U.S. News & World Report. But this year, Washington Monthly magazine is out with a different kind of college ranking, one where neither Harvard nor Stanford come out on top. Editor Paul Glastris calls it the "Bang for the Buck" list. 

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Summer melt. That's what college counselors call it when high school students make a tuition deposit at the end of their senior year, but don't start their freshman year in college. It's a major problem in the U.S., especially for low-income, first generation college students. Now, a Boston-based nonprofit is taking a tech-savvy approach to combat summer melt.

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The buzz around open online courses - often free and occasionally for credit - is fading. But as tuition prices and student debt soar, online learning continues to grow. One of the largest providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, is Harvard and MIT's edX. Some 2.5 million people have signed up for these classes, ranging from the Introduction to Computer Science to The Ancient Greek Hero.

So what do most students get for completing one of these courses? New knowledge and maybe a certificate of completion, but no credit. WGBH’s On Campus caught up with a student-researcher who predicts colleges and universities will soon offer some form of credit for MOOCs.

International students are enrolling in American colleges in huge numbers, boosting the U.S. economy with tuition dollars and diversifying classrooms. But many of those students don't end up staying and working. Critics say that's because the U.S. isn't handing out enough work visas, which sends these talented grads home. 

Growing up in Colombia, Felipe Spinel got a bachelor's degree and then worked for ten years in Bogota's struggling tech sector, saving enough money to study abroad. In 2010, Spinel was accepted into Boston University's two-year MBA program.

It's eight in the morning, and Debra Zhang is heading to work. She grabs her keys and umbrella, slips on her shoes, and steps on to Boylston Street in Boston's Fenway neighborhood.

Zhang is one of the more than 800,000 international students that attended American colleges and universities last year -- more than 46,000 of them in Massachusetts. And schools are expecting a spike this fall. This trend has implications both for international and domestic students.

Traditionally, college students earn credit for how many hours they spend in a classroom. But a different approach gives credit based on how much you know -- and know how to do. As the cost of college soars, proponents say competency-based education could save students and employers thousands.

In today's tight job market, increasingly, the public often views college as a way to learn the skills necessary to find a fulfilling career, but many don't realize that research is close to the heart of those who work in higher education. In his recent essayThe Soul of the Research Institution, Nicholas Lemann, staff writer at the New Yorker, defends the value of university research.

In Nashville last month, WGBH's On Campus sat down with Lemann to talk about research and higher education.

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