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If College were free, would textbooks cost more?

Free college. The idea is whispered like an incantation in student government meetings and dorm rooms across the country. An education without crippling debt. Surely a pipe dream, but a beautiful one none the less, right?

Several states in the US have begun to offer free or heavily discounted Community College, though 4 year universities still charge tens of thousands of dollars per semester. If, oh glorious thought, a 4 year degree were to be offered free of charge, what would it do to textbook costs?

Is Free College a Pipe Dream?

Continue reading “If College were free, would textbooks cost more?”

Is Free Community College a Pipe Dream?

The following was written by Joey Gomez, a contributing writer for The Collective Report,, and otherIs Free College a Pipe Dream? sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @homerjoey.

After getting backlash from both Democrats and Republicans to Obama’s 529 tax plan that would tax college savings — a luxury that’s attributed to the wealthier class — Obama has decided to scrap the plan that would help the lower and middle-income students pay for college.

It’s been recently reported that the 529 tax plan on college savings would have an impact not only on the wealthy, but also the middle and lower classes, seeing as there is a small percentage of people with middle-lower income that use the college savings. But to drop a policy altogether and abandon opportunities that could initially lessen the burden of paying for college is disappointing.

Continue reading “Is Free Community College a Pipe Dream?”

Was the Facebook Mood Manipulation Experiment Worth It?

Receiving some bad news

In terms of recent news that generated outrage, few stories in the past month can compete with the Facebook “Mood Manipulation” Experiment. If the story escaped your notice, here’s the basics: A study conducted by Facebook’s data team filtered 689,003 users’ News Feeds for positive or negative keywords. The test was to see what impact this had on the users’ subsequent posts. Needless to say, users with only positive Feeds were more likely to say something positive. Negative Feeds led to more negative posts.

Continue reading “Was the Facebook Mood Manipulation Experiment Worth It?”

Supreme Court Backs Up Michigan’s Ban on Affirmative Action


Back in 2006, Michigan voters put an end to race-based affirmative action through a ballot initiative. After eight years of back and forth, the U.S. Supreme Court has finally weighed in, granting Michigan, and the other states that qualify, limit, or outright forbid race-based affirmative action (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington) the power to make this decision on an individual basis.

Continue reading “Supreme Court Backs Up Michigan’s Ban on Affirmative Action”

Nova Scotia Throws Out Student Loan Interest


In a move that mirrors the proposal in Oregon we talked about a few months back, Canadian province Nova Scotia has voted to eliminate interest on college student loans. The legislation is a deliberate and explicit move to remove the crippling financial burden of debt from new students as they start their careers. Continue reading “Nova Scotia Throws Out Student Loan Interest”

Oregon Considers Offering Free Tuition. You Can Pay Them Back Later.


Back in the summer, the Oregon State Legislature agreed to a plan that would allow students to attend public universities and community colleges for free. In return, the student agrees to pay a small percent of his or her income after graduation.

Continue reading “Oregon Considers Offering Free Tuition. You Can Pay Them Back Later.”

Trying to Turn English, Reading, & Literature Into a Numbers Game

readingbabyThere’s a problem that always seems to be at the root of the debate over education policy: When do we standardize and when do we personalize? If we don’t standardize enough, there’s no guarantee that everyone will receive the same opportunities and the same basic education. If we don’t personalize enough, we can ignore some really basic common sense in the interest of keeping everything “equal.” This post is about the second problem.

The institution of the Common Core Standards in most states tries to find measurable ways to ensure schools are meeting their state standards. For math, that’s not too hard. You just set the grade you should know your multiplication tables and the grade you should tackle geometry. For reading, things get trickier. That’s where the Lexile system comes into place. Continue reading “Trying to Turn English, Reading, & Literature Into a Numbers Game”

These Obamacare Ads for College Students Can’t Be Real, Right?

As the provisions in the Affordable Care Act start rolling out, the state of Colorado decided to spread awareness with one of the most confusing ad campaigns I’ve ever seen.


Let’s catalog this ad’s many crimes against humanity:

Continue reading “These Obamacare Ads for College Students Can’t Be Real, Right?”

Why Aren’t College Students More Invested in College Town Politics?

iStock_000015650351XSmallThe traditional idea of a college town is one that’s truly built up around the college. These towns have bars and restaurants packed with students. They root for the school’s sports teams, especially the local hotels and motels who fill up with visiting family during games and graduations. The campus is the most identifiable landmark in town. It’s the largest contributor to the local economy. It’s in the identity of the town.

Many of the largest state schools are in these sorts of towns. The students of Arizona State University makes up over a third of the population of Tempe. University of Georgia students a little shy of 30% of Athens’ population. Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg, a city of 42,620. Total number of students at VA Tech? 31,087. Over 70%.

Yet in most cases, the student population is considered essentially transient, and that has a big impact on both the way these towns think about the students as members of the community and the way the students view themselves.

Continue reading “Why Aren’t College Students More Invested in College Town Politics?”

3 Massive Screw-Ups Blamed on Interns

It’s no fun being an intern. If you’re lucky enough to get an internship that actually pays you, it’s probably chump change. It’s unlikely you’re doing the work you want to be doing. You’re almost entirely at the mercy of the company you’re working for, and they don’t have much reason to treat you as well as their normal employees. Continue reading “3 Massive Screw-Ups Blamed on Interns”

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