Students are always more entrepreneurial and understand needs better than bureaucracies can,” said Harry R. Lewis, the director of undergraduate studies for Harvard’s computer science department, “since bureaucracies tend to have messages they want to spin, and priorities they have to set, and students just want stuff that is useful. I know this well, since students were talking to me about moving the Harvard face books online seven years before Zuckerberg just went and did it without asking permission.

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two - NYTimes.com

After controlling for various factors, such as marital status and ethnicity, they found that having more than $50,000 in student loan debt lowers the chances of owning a home. The homeownership rate for people who carry more than that is estimated to be 8 percentage points lower than it is for college graduates with less than $50,000 in student debt, according to the analysis, which is based on the Federal Reserve’s 2010 Survey of Consumer Finance.

How student debt crushes your chances of buying a home - The Washington Post

Colleges aren’t monasteries. They can’t give their students spiritual sustenance; they can’t provide an escape from modernity. And they shouldn’t be faulted, or punished, for that.

Joshua Rothman on why the “crisis in higher education” is really the crisis of modernity: http://nyr.kr/1qSgRAe (via newyorker)

(via rachelmennies)

“We originally thought that young people would use Facebook and digital communication to stage-manage their lives,” said Wardle. That wasn’t the case. Candid messages are thrown into the digital ether without regard for their permanence or the number of eyeballs that can scrutinize them. “They found it much easier to articulate how they felt to each other honestly when they weren’t in the same room,” he said.

Not-so-secret lives on smartphones : Columbia Journalism Review

Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.

Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere. | New Republic

We got a group together and said what we wanted to do, and the administration just said, ‘O.K., ask for any equipment or advice you need,’ ” said Colleen Perry, who is studying bioengineering. “We’ve definitely made mistakes, but it’s probably the first time in our lives that we’re not getting a grade and we don’t have anyone telling us what to do.

A Classroom Leaves the Syllabus to the Students - NYTimes.com

A simple letter from Indiana University led its students to reduce borrowing by far more than the national average. Amid the furor over the $1.2 trillion in U.S. student debt, the seven-campus system decided to tell students annually before they take out loans for the next year what their monthly payment would be after graduation. Federal undergraduate Stafford loan disbursements at the public university dropped 11 percent, or $31 million, in the nine months that ended March 31 from a year earlier, according to Education Department data. That’s more than fivefold the 2 percent decline in outlays to four-year public schools nationally.

How Students at a U.S. University Borrowed $31 Million Less - Bloomberg

It looks like PAYE saves money only for those low-income borrowers who have incurred an unusually large federal debt — so much debt that the federal government agrees to forgive whatever you haven’t paid off after 20 years. That certainly helps, but it isn’t going to help a majority of college graduates.

Obama’s Move to Help Students Is Not as Forgiving as It Seems - NYTimes.com

Race-based affirmative action is a blunt instrument that doesn’t help the vast majority of black and Latino kids,” says Sheryll Cashin, who is the author of one of the new books, “Place, Not Race” (Beacon Press), as well as a Georgetown University law professor and a former clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall. “And ironically it engenders resentments that make it harder to build multiracial alliances to build investment in education.

If Affirmative Action Is Doomed, What’s Next? - NYTimes.com

Mr. Obama’s main action will be to expand on a 2010 law that capped borrowers’ repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. The intent is to extend such relief to an estimated five million people with older loans who are currently ineligible — those who got loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011. But the relief would not be available until December 2015, officials said, given the time needed for the Education Department to propose and put new regulations into effect.

Obama Plans Steps to Ease Student Debt - NYTimes.com